French-Indian War Powder Horn by Spencer Hitchcock Carver
Appraised Value: $40,000 - $50,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
ARTICLE: The Spencer-Hitchcock Carver
Who was the "Spencer-Hitchcock carver" who appraiser Bill Guthman believes engraved a powder horn that showed up in 2003 at the Savannah ANTIQUES ROADSHOW? The answer is, nobody really knows.
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Appraisal Video: (2:20)
GUEST: I really don't know a whole lot about it. It's been passed down through my family for several generations and that's really all I know about it.
APPRAISER: Well, you brought a gem in today. It's a really... a wonderful piece of American history. It's a beautifully engraved horn carved by the Spencer-Hitchcock Carver, and this was carved for a provincial Connecticut soldier in the Connecticut regiment during the French-Indian War. And this is just a great horn. You see these little soldiers?
APPRAISER: And they have these little dotted eyes, and when you get over here, you see they're on horseback, and the eyes of the horses are the same as the eyes of the riders. And it has this poem: "Men of might, they take delight in gun and sword that they might fight." And this horn belonged to... I assume is an ancestor of yours, "John Byington." His horn dated: "Crownpoint, October 1759." And then later on-- the year I think the horn was engraved-- it says, "Montreal, September 8th, 1760." It's a magnificently carved horn. You asked me where these came from. Well, they came from cows, from bulls.
GUEST: It's a cow horn, huh?
APPRAISER: Yeah. And the man that engraved this was an excellent engraver.
GUEST: What are the markings on the side of it there?
APPRAISER: It looks like rub marks. That's wear. This side went against... this fit against the contour of his body very comfortably.
GUEST: How long would it take to carve a horn like this?
APPRAISER: Well, they were pretty good, and they probably did it in a few days.
GUEST: Really? Wow.
APPRAISER: It's really a wonderful piece of American folk art. Now, is this clip on it... is that an original clip?
GUEST: This? Yeah.
APPRAISER: This was raised.
APPRAISER: And they tied the strap from there and attached it to this, and then they slung it over their shoulder and carried it that way, so that's been there. Do you have any idea of the value?
GUEST: No. I've seen, uh... I've seen a couple on the ROADSHOW and they... I think they went for around $8,000 to $10,000.
APPRAISER: Well, if I had this, I'd ask $40,000 to $50,000.
APPRAISER: It's a great, great horn.
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