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Artillery Priming Horn, likely American and possibly Revolutionary War.
16 inches long overall with a 3 1/4 inch long brass collar and levered stopper at the spout. Base plug about 3 1/4 inches in diameter, concave with removable screw-in wood plug for filling. Single staple near spout for carrying cord. Horn body and base painted yellow, now a muted mustard color. Base and plug overpainted in barn red. Some wear to paint on plug from handling. About 70-80 percent of paint remaining on body.
Horns of this design have always been considered to be artillery priming horns, though DeWitt Bailey has pointed out that the British versions were issued by Ordnance to light infantry as well as artillery and naval gun crews with little to distinguish them except for supposed size.
This horn differs from the standard British horns in a few ways I think point to an American origin. First, the pour spout is somewhat crudely constructed, lacking the decorative incised lines found on the British horns and secured with three larger square shanked nails or tacks. Second, instead of using a standing loop on a post screwed or nailed into the horn, the loop for a suspension cord is a simple staple, like the staples used on the Revolutionary War US contract cheese box style canteens. Third, instead of a second loop near the base for the suspension cord, the cord must have tied around the horn itself or the plug knob, which is rounded, like that on the "United States" marked horn shown in Troiani's "Soldiers of the American Revolution." Lastly the color is reminiscent of those used on continental army artillery uniforms, where the buttons and trim were specified as yellow and the facings red. These features may not be completely reliable diagnostics, but they separate this horn from the standard British ordnance pattern and later US patterns.
The spout shows the loss of two of the nails and partial opening of the seam, running along the top edge under the lever. This has slightly displaced the crudely made spring under the lever, but it is still there and functional. The spout itself is still attached by the remaing nail on the other side, but is somewhat loose and wobbles a bit. The base plug is in good condition, secured by three nails with crudely rounded heads, and shows about 90 percent of its original red paint on its dished surface. The plug shows a mix of red and yellow paint and some exposed wood that is glossy from handling, but it still has a lot of color.
Fairly scarce, but downright rare with original paint. Perhaps as early as the Revolutionary War and unlikely to be later than 1820s.
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