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Spanish Colonial Engraved Powder Horn, Fine, Untouched Condition

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482. [POWDER HORN]. Spanish Colonial powder horn of very fine quality craftsmanship having sharp engraved/scrimshaw decoration of archetypal, stylized, Spanish design, provincially made. Overall length: 8 inches; 20.5 cm. Fitted with its original, circular, wooden base plug (of the horn) with its sheet brass "loop" for the suspension cord; and the integral pouring-spout with nicely turned baluster neck and mouth; matching brass "loop," complete with its carved horn end-cap. Southwestern United States, or Mexico, early nineteenth century [ca. 1830?]. Overall choice, very fine, untouched, complete condition, having smooth, richly toned, deeply aged, straw-colored surfaces with amber highlights and some expected light age-staining at the base pins and spout, very light evidence of handling and wear, no visible cracks or significant blemishes, finely oxidized interior with a distinct trace of gunpowder residue. An excellent example of a classic Spanish Colonial powder horn, engraved on base in classic eighteenth- or nineteenth-century type characters with owner’s or possibly engraver’s name: "Santiago Gómez"

     The horn is adorned overall with deeply scrimshawed and ink-blackened depictions of various Christian-Roman Catholic religious scenes, including the Crucifixion of Christ (with "Longinos" piercing Christ’s side with lance), an image of Mary, a church scene, and the Devil. Additionally scrimmed are several named figures, including rabbit ("Liebre"), hunter ("Cazador"), a bird, two men in nineteenth-century costume, and a statute ("estatua"). The top edge is graced with geometric borders and the images of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus ("Jo. M. & J."). The overall appearance is "folkish." See: Sidney B. Brinckerhoff & Pierce A. Chamberlain, Spanish Military Weapons in Colonial America 1700-1821 (Stackpole Books, 1972), pp. 65-66. Professional appraiser’s report from Paul M. Ambrose Antiques in Trumbull, Connecticut, included with lot.


Sold. Hammer: $1,500.00; Price Realized: $1,800.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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