Powder Horn

Approx. Period: 1750 AD
Length: 0.20m Width: 0.10m

Before preparing the charge for a pistol or rifle, powder was stored in a small watertight container, or horn. The term comes from the use of animal horn to form the vessel. The shape was convenient for carrying and the pointed tip could be adapted to form a spout for pouring the gunpowder into the paper charge.

The vessel is prepared from a single horn from a cow. The hard shell is softened with water and then beaten and pressed to form a flat sided vessel. The wide end is sealed with a shaped wooden plug and a pouring spout of brass with a wooden plug is fitted to the cut horn tip. Horns of this type often featured highly decorative carvings and embellishments, usually with celtic origins