American Native Arts and Antiques

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Vintage Powder Horn - Penobscot style designs added


This vintage powder horn has recent additions by Kenneth Hamilton, well known artist of reproduction trade items -1680 -mid 1800. The powder horn is old - and Ken added a smoked moosehide strap to it and incised into it Penobscot designs; double curves, stacked rectangles with cross-hatching inside, triangles and diamonds with cross hatching inside and trifoliate designs atop the stacked rectangles. Ken also has added engrailed design at the top of the white part of the horn, just above where the strap attaches. The wooden plugs on both ends of the horn were replaced by Ken with maple and he added chip carved triangles to the larger stationary plug at the bottom of the horn.

This is 12" long, 3" in diameter bottom end and 1/2" diameter at the top end.

There is a similarly decorated powder horn in the collection of the Hudson Museum, University of Maine, Orono Maine. It is thought that most Native American powder horns were not Native made - but were traded or acquired and then had Native designs etched, incised or Native beadwork straps etc added...

Kenneth Hamilton. Ken is a well known artist of reproduction trade items -1680 -mid 1800. Ken is of Lakota heritage and an adopted Ottawa. Ken Hamilton researches his trade silver and other designs, spending time pouring over books, pictures and visiting museum collections. I know that museum directors and collections managers in every Maine museum are familiar with Ken and his work. It is well researched. Since his mother is the leading authority on trade silver - Ken knows his stuff. He is the only craftsman/artist who is not a tribally enrolled member whose work I purchase and sell. Most of the items he makes are not being made by tribal members and were items that - back in the day - were made by native and non-natives alike. Trade silver items, which Ken makes at times, were never native made but traded to and valued by many different tribes. Paintings and photos show tribal members wearing trade silver items, sometimes many many trade silver items at once. ------ Ken is married to a Penobscot woman.

Powder Horn, Penobscot style
Powder Horn, Penobscot style - other side
Powder Horn, Penobscot style - Close up
Powder Horn, Penobscot style - stopper out
Powder Horn, Penobscot style - close up of design
Powder Horn, Penobscot style - Chip carved end
Weight: 16 oz