EXTRAORDINARY 1775 REVOLUTIONARY WAR POWDER HORN FROM ROXBURY MASSACHUSETTS
inv # 02-12442
This rare horn belongs to a group of horns collectively referred to as “Roxbury horns”. They were produced in & around Roxbury, Massachusetts during the siege of Boston which took place April 19, 1775 to March 17, 1776. The siege is considered by many to be the opening phase of the Revolutionary War in America. The militiamen of New England thwarted movement by land of the entire British Army garrisoned in the city of Boston.
This particular horn measures nearly 14″ in length & nearly 3″ in width at the butt. It is engraved “ROXBURY : JULEY : 25 : 1775 / PETER : INGERSOLL ^IUR : HIS : HORN / LIBERTEY : AND : PROPERTY : :”.
Other designs include a man holding a rifle, willow tree w/ bird, period fort w/ cannons, snake, mermaid, snake, willow tree w/ 2 birds, foliate vines & various cross hatching & decorative work.
The spout has octagon to hexagon to larger hexagon carving. The butt has a wooden plug w/ an early paper collection/exhibition tag featuring the seal of the American Antiquarian Society. The seal reads around the outside “ABOLERE VETUSTAS NEC POTERIT FERRUM, NEC EDEX”. The interior shows an American Indian seated in front of a Grecian temple. The frieze of the temple reads “AMER. ANTIQ. SOC.”. This exact horn is pictured in the book, “American Engraved Powder Horns” by Stephen V. Granesay on pg. 58 #480. Peter Ingersoll of Great Barrington, Mass. was a captain in Colonel David Brewer’s (9th) Regiment. Captain Ingersoll had extensive service in various capacities & w/ several regiments from 1775 until his discharge on July 30, 1777.
CONDITION: the horn is in exceptional condition for its age & length of service. The spout shows wear but no losses. The engraving is strong & quite legible. The butt has expected chipping around the edges & the suspension loop/flange is missing. The butt cap is original & all securing pins are intact. A wonderful, folky horn that witnessed first hand, America’s struggle for independence against the might of the British Empire.
PROVENANCE: Estate Collection of George W. Browning.