Shown here is a bespoke powder horn with color scrimshaw. The form of the horn is Early Virginia with a turned beaded hard maple base plug and a turned Axis deer antler tip. This right hand horn is approximately 14.75″ around the outside curve, 12.25″ tip to tip, and with a 2.375″ diameter base plug. Per the clients specification, the horn is engraved with a male and a female Cardinal, dogwood flowers, tobacco leaves and a cornucopia. A little color was added to the birds. The horn and base plug is stained with ferric nitrate and the entire horn finished in Tried & True (linseed oil and beeswax).
This horn is not available, but I can make you something like it. Just contact me with your ideas and we can discuss it. The bespoke price for a horn like this one with a turned base plug and turned applied tip is $215. Engraving is generally an extra $200. Added color is $100. Shipping on a single horn generally runs $20-$25. Appropriate sales tax will be collected for Virginia residents.
What is right or left hand carry? Simply, it is the side of the body on which a horn is intended to be worn. Historically, a curve of the tip to the left as viewed from the top is a right hand carry horn and also from the right side of the cow. A curve of the tip to the right would historically be a left hand carry horn and from the left side of the cow. If there is no significant curve of the horn as viewed from the top, then the horn can be easily worn on either side with no conflict. Most horns have so little curve it really doesn’t matter much and the modern pattern of carry is frequently opposite of the historical pattern.
Carrying a horn on the same side of the body as it came from the cow results in the tip pointing toward the body and the base pointing away from the body. I also like the base of the horn to point to ward the body, as do many modern wearers, so I usually use the opposite side horn and rotate it about 90 degrees so that both the tip and the base of the horn point into the body. This makes a horn from the left side of the cow into a powder horn you can carry on the right side of the body. This is my personal preference, but not generally historically correct. Historically, powder horns were usually carried on the same side of the body as they came from on the cow. If you want to be completely historically correct, you need to understand that.
Sometimes a horn that is technically a left hand horn might wrap around the body better on the right hand side and vice versa. So, in describing a horn, I will tell you whether a horn is historically a left hand or a right hand. Then I will tell you on which side the horn was built to be carried, if it is different. I will also try to include a photo from the top of the horn so you can see the curve for yourself. On which side you actually carry a horn, that is up to you.
I am doing more scrimshawed horns right now and trying some new things. This is my latest effort featuring a Carolina parakeet and a Northern Cardinal along with some fraktur flowers. I hope you like it.
This right hand horn is 14″ around the outside curve and 11.5″ tip to tip, not including the stopper. The cherry base plug is 2.29″ in diameter. The tip is horn and antler. The stopper is walnut. While this is a traditional right hand horn. the engraved panels are positioned so that they look right when the horn is worn on either side.
The horn is colored with a little ferric nitrate prior to starting the engraving giving it a light yellow base. The ink is Windsor & Newton drawing ink. I finished up with some Tried and True oil on both the wood and horn followed by a coat of wax.
The bespoke price for a horn like this with a turned base plug and an applied-tip is $215. Scrimshaw is $200. The color is another $100. I collect the appropriate sales tax when shipped to a Virginia address.
This Virginia inspired powder horn has an applied Axis deer antler tip and turned black walnut base plug and stopper. The base plug has an acorn finial which was common on Virginia powder horns. The horn is technically a left hand horn, but is so straight it could be easily carried either way. It was engraved assuming right hand carry. It is about 13.5″ around the outside curve (not including the stopper), 11.5″ finial to tip, and with a 2.12″ diameter base plug. The horn has been stained with ferric nitrate to give it a slightly yellow base. Fraktur type engraving has been applied to the horn and the engraved designs colored with drawing ink.
The bespoke price for for a horn like this is $215 for the base horn (turned base plug with applied tip). Similar scrimshaw would be $200. Color added to the horn would be another $100. Then there is $25 shipping/insurance and any applicable Virginia sales tax.
This is a powder horn that I have had on my build list a while and finally got around to doing it. It is a recreation of a horn shown on pages 334-335 of Jay Hopkin’s book Bone Tipped & Banded Horns. That horn was found in Virginia and the acorn is a Virginia motif.
The horn shown below is a technically a right hand horn, but is so straight it could be easily carried either way. It is about 12.5″ around the outside curve (not including the stopper), 10.25″ finial to tip, and with a 1.96″ diameter base plug. The screw-tip is horn and has a female thread as is typical on southern horns. The base plug and stopper are American Black Walnut.
I hadn’t initially intended to put color fraktur/engraving on the horn. However, the buyer asked if I could add a little something. So, I did. I hope he likes it. I have included photos of the horn both before and after the engraving.
The bespoke price for a horn like #39 is $280 for the base horn plus $25 shipping/insurance and applicable Virginia sales tax when shipped to a Virginia address. The engraving is another $200 with the color being an additional $100 on top of that. If you are interested, please use the Contact page to send me a note. Make sure to include the horn number (#39).