Early Virginia Powder Horn with Color Scrimshaw

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 $250.   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.

If you like this, perhaps you might be interested in some of my other fraktur such as my Birth/Baptismal/Marriage Certificates or paintings.

Horn #57 - Early VA Powder Horn with Color Scrimshaw showing a male Cardinal and dogwood flowers.
Horn #57 – Early VA Powder Horn with Color Scrimshaw showing a male Cardinal and dogwood flowers.

Horn #57 - Early VA Powder Horn with Color Scrimshaw showing a female Cardinal and a cornucopia.
Horn #57 – Early VA Powder Horn with Color Scrimshaw showing a female Cardinal and a cornucopia.

Right or Left Hand Carry?

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.

Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch

I decided to try my hand at the embroidered diary case/shot pouch on pages 34-37 of Jim Webb’s book on shot pouches and powder horns of Southern Appalachia. This is my interpretation of that bag.

I made a few changes.  I only put one extra layer of leather in the flap instead of the three of the original and only created one front pocket instead of the original two.   This reduced the number of layers of leather I had to sew through to a max of five.   I also used 2 oz veg tan cow hide instead of buckskin.   I used 6 oz veg tan cow hide for the strap.

It took a while to work out the pattern, but the shot pouch actually went together much easier than I expected. I cut out the leather very precisely making sure all the mating edges (and punched holes) lined up exactly. I punched all the holes for the embroidery and used my own design. Once the embroidery was done, I glued the pieces together along the edges using white glue. I think this was the key to being able to easily sew it all together; that and the precise matching of the holes.   In case you were wondering, the glue mostly dissolves away when the bag  was soaked in warm water to turn it.

The bag is stained with vinegar and iron. That was done right after the parts were cut out.  I like vinegar and iron because it is a traditional stain,  It stains through and doesn’t wash out.  I put a lot of Mink oil on the bag once it was all done and dried out.

By the way, the bag finished up a little under about 7″ x 7″.  The original was listed at 6 1/2″.

This bag with Horn #56 (shown below) is available with a small patch knife (not shown) attached to the strap for $845.   I am not charging for the knife.  The strap can be adjusted to a max of 56″ top of bag to top of bag.   The bespoke price for the pouch only is $550.  You would, of course,  get a different embroidery design on the flap if I were to make you one.   Priority Mail Shipping runs $20-$25 on outfits and I collect sales tax for VA residents.  Contact me if interested.

If you like this, perhaps you might be interested in some of my other fraktur such as my Birth/Baptismal/Marriage Certificates or paintings.

Pouch 48 - Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch - Full
Pouch 48 – Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch – Full
Pouch 48 - Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch - Flap
Pouch 48 – Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch – Flap
Pouch 48 - Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch - Inside
Pouch 48 – Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch – Inside
Pouch 48 - Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch - Back
Pouch 48 – Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch – Back

On someone’s recommendation,  I decided to add a little banded southern horn to this pouch.     It is a left hand horn that is fairly straight  and was intended from the beginning to be carried on the right side.  Actually all the horns on my personal outfits are left hand horns carried on the right.   I always thought that worked the best.   It was only later that I learned that, historically, left hand horns were generally carried on the left and right hand horns where generally carried on the right.   Of course,  I still carry a left hand horn on the right. 🙂

This horn (#56) is approximately 12″ around the outside curve, 10″ tip to tip (not including the stopper), with a base plug about 2.5″ in diameter.   The base plug is Cherry, the tip is Axis deer antler, and the stopper is Black Walnut.  The base plug is hollowed out about half it’s depth.

As stated above,  the asking price for this outfit with a small patchknife (not shown) attached to the strap  is $845.   Contact me if you are interested.

Pouch 48/ Horn 56 - Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch with a small southern banded powder horn.
Pouch 48/ Horn 56 – Embroidered Diary Case/Shot Pouch with a small southern banded powder horn.

Applied-tip Powder Horn with Fraktur Scrimshaw (Horn #46)

I am doing scrimshaw horns right now and this one is more traditional fraktur with geometric designs and stylized flowers.   I skipped the color on this one except for the ferric nitrate stain giving a little yellow color to the horn.

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 2.48″ 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 bespoke price for a horn with a turned base plug and an applied-tip  is $250.   Scrimshaw is $200.   VA residents will have to pay an additional 5.3%  to 7% sales tax depending on their locality.

 If you would like this horn,  use the Contact page to get in touch with me and mention horn #46.

If you like this, perhaps you might be interested in some of my other fraktur such as my Birth/Baptismal/Marriage Certificates or paintings.

 

Horn #46 - An applied-tip powder horn with traditional fraktur scrimshaw - Outside
Horn #46 – An applied-tip powder horn with traditional fraktur scrimshaw – Outside
Horn #46 - An applied-tip powder horn with traditional fraktur scrimshaw - Inside
Horn #46 – An applied-tip powder horn with traditional fraktur scrimshaw – Inside
Horn #46 - An applied-tip powder horn with traditional fraktur scrimshaw - Top
Horn #46 – An applied-tip powder horn with traditional fraktur scrimshaw – Top
Horn #46 - An applied-tip powder horn with traditional fraktur scrimshaw - Bottom
Horn #46 – An applied-tip powder horn with traditional fraktur scrimshaw – Bottom

Right or Left Hand Carry?

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.

Applied-tip Powder Horn with Color Fraktur (Horn #44)

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 $250.   Scrimshaw is $200.   The color is another $100.  I collect the appropriate sales tax when shipped to a Virginia address.

If you like this, perhaps you might be interested in some of my other fraktur such as my Birth/Baptismal/Marriage Certificates or paintings.

Horn #44 - An applied-tip powder horn with color fraktur engraving of a Carolina parakeet and a Northern Cardinal- Top
Horn #44 – An applied-tip powder horn with color fraktur engraving of a Carolina parakeet and a Northern Cardinal- Top
Horn #44 - An applied-tip powder horn with color fraktur engraving of a Carolina parakeet and a Northern Cardinal- Inside
Horn #44 – An applied-tip powder horn with color fraktur engraving of a Carolina parakeet and a Northern Cardinal- Inside
Horn #44 - An applied-tip powder horn with color fraktur engraving of a Carolina parakeet and a Northern Cardinal- Bottom
Horn #44 – An applied-tip powder horn with color fraktur engraving of a Carolina parakeet and a Northern Cardinal- Bottom
Horn #44 - An applied-tip powder horn with color fraktur engraving of a Carolina parakeet and a Northern Cardinal- Outside
Horn #44 – An applied-tip powder horn with color fraktur engraving of a Carolina parakeet and a Northern Cardinal- Outside

Acorn Finial, Applied-tip Powder Horn #41 with Color Fraktur

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 $250 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.

If you like this, perhaps you might be interested in some of my other fraktur such as my Birth/Baptismal/Marriage Certificates or paintings.

Horn #41 - Virginia inspired powder horn with color fraktur engraving - Outside
Horn #41 – Virginia inspired powder horn with color fraktur engraving – Outside
Horn #41 - Virginia inspired powder horn with color fraktur engraving - Inside
Horn #41 – Virginia inspired powder horn with color fraktur engraving – Inside
Horn #41 - Virginia inspired powder horn with color fraktur engraving - Top
Horn #41 – Virginia inspired powder horn with color fraktur engraving – Top
Horn #41 - Virginia inspired powder horn with color fraktur engraving - Bottom
Horn #41 – Virginia inspired powder horn with color fraktur engraving – Bottom

Virginia “Acorn” Powder Horn #39

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).

If you like this, perhaps you might be interested in some of my other fraktur such as my Birth/Baptismal/Marriage Certificates or paintings.

Horn #39 - Virginia "Acorn" screw-tip powder horn - Outside
Horn #39 – Virginia “Acorn” screw-tip powder horn – Outside
Horn #39 - Virginia "Acorn" screw-tip powder horn - Inside
Horn #39 – Virginia “Acorn” screw-tip powder horn – Inside
Horn #39 - Virginia "Acorn" screw-tip powder horn - End
Horn #39 – Virginia “Acorn” screw-tip powder horn – End
Horn #39 - Virginia "Acorn" screw-tip powder horn - Tip
Horn #39 – Virginia “Acorn” screw-tip powder horn – Tip
Horn #39 - Virginia "Acorn" powder horn with color fraktur engraving - Top
Horn #39 – Virginia “Acorn” powder horn with color fraktur engraving – Top
Horn #39 - Virginia "Acorn" powder horn with color fraktur engraving - Outside
Horn #39 – Virginia “Acorn” powder horn with color fraktur engraving – Outside
Horn #39 - Virginia "Acorn" powder horn with color fraktur engraving - Bottom
Horn #39 – Virginia “Acorn” powder horn with color fraktur engraving – Bottom
Horn #39 - Virginia "Acorn" powder horn with color fraktur engraving - Inside
Horn #39 – Virginia “Acorn” powder horn with color fraktur engraving – Inside

Contemporary Fraktur Documents

What is Fraktur?

Fraktur is the term for the illuminated documents created in the 18th & 19th centuries by German speaking immigrants to America. Fraktur is typically associated with Pennsylvania, but it can be found anywhere that large groups of German speaking peoples settled, including my home state of Virginia.  Fraktur actually refers to the “fractured” or printed black letter Gothic font that is used in the documents.  It is printed letter by letter as opposed to being written as continuous script.   Fraktur is a form of calligraphy and some people use the terms interchangeably.

If fraktur documents just consisted of printed text, probably few people would pay attention to them or collect them.   However, fraktur are very often, almost always, embellished with colorful decoration.   Fraktur documents are filled with all sorts of familiar flowers, folliage, and birds.   Some of the flowers and birds are easily recognizable, and some are just fanciful representations.    Most of these images are rendered in primary colors; red, yellow and blue or some easy combination of those.

Most of the original fraktur are Geburtschein (birth certificates),  Taufschein (baptismal certificates), family registers.   You also see Haus Segen (house blessings) consisting of scripture or poetry colorfully illustrated, and book plates.    I create all of these and also marriage certificates.   I am open to creating most any type of fraktur document.   I have seen fraktur posters, flyers, and family trees.

Contemporary Fraktur Documents

Stock Designs

Below are examples of a hand lettered and hand colored Geburtschein , Marriage Certificate, Family Register, Haus Segen, and Book Plate using stock designs.  These are my original contemporary designs, and are available printed on heavy weight, A4 size (except for book plates) paper.  Design 1 (used for the sample Geburtschein and Marriage Certificates below) is most appropriate for a Geburtschein, a Taufschein, or marriage certificate.   Design 2 (used for the Haus Segan) is most appropriate for a a short prayer or verse as in a Haus Segan.

I will inscribe your’s or your loved one’s birth or baptismal record, or marriage record on Design 1  for $55.   A short prayer or verse can be inscribed on Design 2 also for $55.  The family register  can be inscribed with any single family’s information for $65.  These documents are all   hand lettered and hand colored prints on A4 calligraphy paper of the original designs shown on this page .  The documents may be mounted on foam board and matted for a 11″ x 14″ frame for an extra $15.  Priority Mail shipping is $10, and sales tax is collected for VA residents.

You need to understand that these are not prints of finished works. I simply print a line drawing of the original design  as a starting point. The paper may be aged or not; your choice. Then I re-ink the lines where I feel it is necessary,  layout and inscribe the fraktur text using dip pens and calligraphy ink, add additional art where appropriate, and then do the coloring with period correct water colors. The hand coloring and lettering will vary from one document to another. No two documents using the same design are going to be exactly alike.

Geburtschein (Birth Certificate), Taufschein (Baptismal certificate) or Marriage Certificate

Sample Geburtschein fraktur using Design 1
Hand lettered and hand colored sample Geburtschein fraktur using Design 1
Sample marriage certificate fraktur using Design 1
Hand lettered and hand colored sample marriage certificate fraktur using Design 1

Hand colored and hand lettered Geburtschein, Taufschein  or Marriage Certificate print using Design 1 – $55

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Family register

Sample Family Register fraktur using Design 3

Hand colored and hand lettered Family Register print using Design 3 – $65

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Haus Segen (House Blessing)

Hand lettered and hand colored Haus Segen using Design 2 in a Faux Painted Frame
Hand lettered and hand colored Haus Segen using Design 2 in a Faux Painted Frame

Hand colored and hand lettered Haus Segen print using Design 2 – $55

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Vorschrift

A Vorschrift is a lettering example usually done by school masters for the use of their students. Below is my Vorschrift Design 2 I did for my own reference, but I will also do a hand lettered and hand colored copy for you. It is available for $65 each.

Vorschrift - School Master Lettering Sample 2
Vorschrift – School Master Lettering Sample (Vorschrift Design 2) in a Faux Painted Frame

Hand colored and hand lettered  Vorschrift Design 2- $65

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Book Plate

Book plates were common among original fraktur as books were rare and valuable things.   So people wanted to make sure their name was on them.   I have developed a stock book plate design that I like.   I can inscribe it with your name and hand color it for $30 postpaid plus any applicable VA sales tax..   For that you will get the original hand lettered and hand colored bookplate mailed to you and an .pdf document e-mailed to you which will allow you to print eight of your book plates on a full sheet label.

 

Fraktur Book Plate Design 2
Fraktur Book Plate Design 2

Hand colored and hand lettered  Book Plate Design 2- $30

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Exclusive Designs

In addition to the hand lettered and hand colored prints of previous designs; I can produce an original, exclusive design; hand drawn, hand inked, hand lettered, and hand colored in any type or style you like. I can create an all original Geburtschein (birth certificate), Taufschein (baptism  certificate), family register, Haus Segen (house blessing), Marriage Certificate, or a purely decorative work. Actually, I could create a fraktur style document to commemorate most any event.

Exclusive Design Fraktur - Marriage Certificate
Exclusive Design Fraktur – Marriage Certificate

A completely original small size document (A4 – 8.27″ X 11.7″, 60lb, hot press, Sennelier Ink & Calligraphy paper), mounted and matted for a 11″x14″ frame, costs $149. An large size document will be created on one quarter sheet (approx. 11″ x 15″) of Arches 140lb cold press paper (the best laid cotton paper you can get these days), mounted and matted for a 16″ x 20″ frame, will cost $179. Use the Contact page to inquire about such custom work. I will want to talk to you on the phone about it to make sure I understand what you want. I will then send you a contract with the details for you to sign and return with a check.  I usually provide a sketch of the fraktur design for approval prior to inking and coloring.

Priority Mail shipping on all paper items is $10.  Appropriate sales tax is collected for Virginia residents.    Please allow two to four weeks for delivery.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

If you like these fraktur documents, perhaps you will also like my fraktur illustrations.

Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with Fraktur Embroidery Insert

The Face of God Fraktur

I decided that I wanted to combine my fraktur (18th & 19th Century German-American folk art) work with my leather work in some way.   Some sort of embroidery seemed the most sensible way to do it.   So, I decided to create an original fraktur design hand embroidered on a canvas insert in the flap of a Fur Trade era hunting pouch.   This hunting pouch (#36) is the result of that idea.   This is not a strictly historically correct pouch.   I have taken some creative license to pursue my artistic interests in fraktur.

The fraktur is titled the Face of God; representative of Jesus Christ (in the form of the peacock) as the human face of the trinity  (in the form of three tulips on each branch of the tree of life stemming from the heart of God) and the model for our lives.   It is stitched on natural cotton duck canvas using cotton embroidery floss.   About half the time to complete this pouch is in the  execution of the fraktur.  More pouches with different original hand embroidered fraktur are to follow.  That art work will be featured here.

The pouch itself is the best that I know how to make.   It is hand stitched using waxed linen thread out of 2-3 oz (new pouches will have 6 oz leather straps) vegetable tan cowhide, fully lined with a period red print, and incorporating rolled welts, rolled bindings, and a flap lining of calfskin.   The pouch is 8 1/2″ x 9″ overall with a main storage area that is about 5″ x 8″.   There is an internal pocket for small items.  The strap passes through the top of the apron and is stitched inside the pouch for the cleanest possible appearance.  The strap can be adjusted via a brass buckle to a maximum of 57″ top of bag to top of bag.   I will make the strap accommodate any buyer.

As with all my leather work, the leather is stained with the period correct vinegar and iron for a blue-black to dark brown finish.   Mink oil is put on top of that.   I have not aged this pouch in any way.  The wrinkles in the leather are just from turning it.

This pouch is sold, but the bespoke price for a similar pouch with a one of a kind embroidered insert is $950 plus $25 shipping/insurance and the applicable Virginia sales tax if shipped to a Virginia resident.

If you like this, perhaps you might be interested in some of my other fraktur such as my Birth/Baptismal/Marriage Certificates or paintings.

Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert.
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.
Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert - Front
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.- Front
Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert - Back
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.- Back
Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert - Inside
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.- Inside
Bag #36 - Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert - Inside
Bag #36 – Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The Face of God.- Inside

The God of Peace and Love

This pouch (#38) is identical to the one above (#36) in all ways except for the fraktur insert.   The insert is hand embroidered on natural cotton duck canvas using French made cotton embroidery floss.   The design is entitled “The God of Peace and Love.”

Photos of Pouch #38 are shown below.

Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Front
Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Back
Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Front
Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Inside
Bag #38- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – The God of Peace and Love – Inside

A Pouch for My Brother

This hunting pouch (#40) was created just for my brother.   He wanted the first bag I created above (#36), but spoke up a little too late.  That bag went fast.  The followup fraktur embroidery that I did wasn’t all that appealing to him.  So,  I created this one.   It has a similar symbology to the first pouch with a single peacock, front and center,  representing Christ as the human face of God.  The three tulips represent the Trinity.  I have just included a photo of the flap.   The rest is pretty much the same as the bags above.

Bag #40- Fur Trade Era Hunting Pouch with embroidered fraktur insert – Front

What is an American Longrifle?

Contemporary American longrifle.Contemporary American longrifle.
Contemporary Longrifle in the Style of 1775-1785 Augusta/Rockbridge County, Virginia

“From a flat bar of soft iron, hand forged into a gun barrel; laboriously bored and rifled with crude tools; fitted with a stock hewn from a maple tree in the neighboring forest; and supplied with a lock hammered to shape on the anvil; an unknown smith, in a shop long since silent, fashioned a rifle which changed the whole course of world history; made possible the settlement of a continent; and ultimately Freed our country of foreign domination.

Light in weight; graceful in line; economical in consumption of powder and lead; fatally precise; distinctly American; it sprang into immediate popularity; and for a hundred years was a model often slightly varied but never radically changed.

Legend regarding this rifle which have never been confirmed have drifted out of the dusty past; inaccuracies have passed for facts. Few writers have given more than a passing word to a weapon which deserves a lasting place in history, and it is a pleasure to present herewith the data collected during the past ten years and to dedicate this work to the KENTUCKY RIFLE.”

—- Capt. John G. Dillon, 1924, From his book The Kentucky Rifle

It is hard to beat John Dillon’s description of an Kentucky Rifle, the popular name for the American longrifle. This hints at the fact that there are a lot of names for basically the same thing. There is even some disagreement as to whether you spell it longrifle or long rifle. Generically, we refer to the American longrifle which includes all longrifles made in what would become the United States of America. We refer to longrifles made in specific States or regions by adding the State or region names such as in Pennsylvania longrifles or Southern longrifles; or even Kentucky longrifles, not to be confused with Kentucky Rifles. Remember that Kentucky Rifles is the popular name for all longrifles and is equivalent in use to American longrifles.

Fry & Jefferson Map from 1751 showing great wagon road
Fry & Jefferson Map 1751 showing the Great Wagon Road (red) and the later Wilderness Road (blue)
The Kentucky Rifle has been referred to in print since at least the third quarter of the 19th century. Some believe that the name came from the song “Hunters of Kentucky” by Samuel Woodworth recounting Andrew Jackson’s victory in the Battle of New Orleans in 1812. The song referred to “Kentucky rifles” carried by the riflemen from Kentucky who were prominent in that victory. However, the American longrifle was not just made in Kentucky, it was made in many states along the Eastern Seaboard, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia(West Virginia), Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, New York and New England. In fact, the first longrifles carried into Kentucky via the Great Wagon Road and the Wilderness Road were made in Pennsylvania and possibly Virginia. The manufacture and evolution of the American longrifle followed settlers down the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia into western Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina and then west along the Wilderness Road into Tennessee and Kentucky. In one British officer’s account of the effectiveness of the “over the mountains men” from Kentucky and Tennessee in the southern campaigns of the American Revolution of 1780 and 1781, he described their rifles as having been “chiefly made in Lancaster, and two or three neighboring towns in that vicinity, in Pennsylvania.”

The American longrifle originated in and about Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the second quarter of the 18th century and was made well into the second quarter of the 19th century. Martin Mylin, a German Swiss gunsmith, established a shop outside Lancaster in 1719, and is credited with making the first American longrifle about 1740. Eventually, the American longrifle gave way to more sophisticated, mass produced firearms starting with the Industrial Revolution in America around 1840. However, production of the American longrifle never completely ceased. Gunsmiths were making similar guns throughout the 19th century. Mostly, these were high end target rifles, but there were back country gunsmiths making longrifles for subsistence hunting in the Appalachians well into the 20th century. With the renewed interest in all things early American in the 1920’s and 30’s (the Colonial Revival period) as a result of the American sesquicentennial, there was a renewed interest in the Kentucky rifle. It was during this period that John Dillon wrote his book heralding an ever increasing interest in collecting, and recreating these uniquely American firearms.

But I still haven’t really told you what makes a gun an American longrifle. Well, they are long (usually five feet or more), graceful, slender, exceedingly accurate (by the standards of the day), muzzleloading (gunpowder and a round lead ball covered by a cloth patch were loaded from the muzzle(front) of the barrel), rifled (spiral grooves (furrows) were cut into the bore of the barrel to impart a stabilizing spin on the bullet thereby dramatically increasing accuracy), of relatively small caliber (average was around 50 caliber, decreasing into the 19th century), with either flintlock or percussion sidelock ignition systems, a full length wood stock, and usually a patchbox or grease hole on the lock side of the butt stock. The barrels were almost always octagon (“squared” in 18th century terminology) and tapered toward the muzzle and flared back out starting a few inches from the muzzle. This taper and flare (swamp) was generally very subtle giving way to straight tapered and then straight barrels in the mid 19th century. These guns were primarily mounted with brass fixtures (butt piece, toe plate, guard, side plate, thimbles and nose piece); but some, most notably in the South, had iron mounts; and, very rarely, there was a silver mounted gun. Many of these guns were decorated with baroque and rococo carving and engraving as well as inlays of silver and brass wire and sheet. Some of these rifles were extremely ornate and were one of the first truly American art forms. They are now recognized as a significant form of American decorative art and people collect them as such. This is what has driven the price of the best original flintlock American longrifles well into six figures.

The roots of the American longrifle are in the German rifles, or Jaegers, that were brought to this country by early German settlers and gunsmiths. Among other stylistic changes, the barrels of the Jaegers were lengthened, and the caliber reduced to produce the uniquely American longrifle which made more efficient use of powder and was very accurate at long range. The American longrifle developed to serve the needs of commercial hunters traveling to the frontier and beyond to harvest deer skins for export. These commercial hunters or “longhunters” have long been portrayed as pioneers and explorers of European origin such as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. However, there is good reason to believe that as many as half of the early longrifles went to native American hunters who had been using European arms to harvest skins for export to Europe since the first contact with European traders in the 16th century.

There is lots more that I could write about the American longrifle, but the best way to learn about them is to look at them and handle them. On this site you will find photos of some of the better ones that I have made in my Portfolio as well as photos of original longrifles that I and others have owned in the Antique Longrifles Gallery. Look them over good, get some good books on the subject, and seek out original longrifles for study at museums, gun shows, and private owners.

Bibliography

  • The Kentucky Rifle by Capt. John Dillon
  • The Kentucky Rifle in its Golden Age by Joe Kindig Jr.
  • Rifles of Colonial America, Volume 1 & Volume 2by George Shumway
  • Recreating the American Longrifle by William Buchele, George Shumway, and Peter Alexander
  • The Gunsmith of Grenville County, Building the American Longrifle by Peter Alexander
  • The American Rifle: At the Battle at Kings Mountain by C.P. Russell, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Washington, D.C., 1941
  • Rifle Making in the Great Smoky Mountains by Arthur I. Kendall, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Washington, D.C., 1941




Custom Fraktur

Purely decorative contemporary framed fraktur water color of several birds and flowers.
Purely decorative contemporary framed fraktur water color of several birds and flowers.

I offer a number of fraktur works on the Fraktur Documents and Fraktur Paintings pages including printed and hand colored, birth certificates and house blessings. However, I can do a completely custom work for you. If you want a completely orginial birth/baptism or marriage certificate, a house blessing, or a family tree, we can talk about what you want; and I will work up a price for you. I am happy to entertain most any fraktur type work and will give you a fair price.

 

Sample Geburtschein fraktur using Design 1
Sample Geburtschein fraktur using Design 1

See Portfolio/Fraktur for more examples of my work.

To discuss a project and get a quote, use the Contact form to send me an e-mail. I will e-mail or call you back to discuss the project.