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Maker(s):Gay, Jacob (attributed)
Culture:American (w. 1758-1787)
Title:powder horn: Edward Sherburne
Date Made:January 23, 1776
Materials:horn, wood: pine; base metal: brass; paint, dark pigment
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Cambridge
Measurements:overall: 4 in x 12 3/4 in; 10.16 cm x 32.385 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2005.20.63
Credit Line:Historic Deerfield, The William H. Guthman Collection of American Engraved Powder Horns
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Powder horn inscribed “EDWARD / SHERBURNE / HIS Horn / Janr:23:1776 / SUCCESS / TO / Liberty / MADE AT CAMBRIDGE" and attributed to Jacob Gay (w. 1758-1787). Edward Sherburne was a major from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, who joined the army at Cambridge in 1775. He served as aide-de-camp to General John Sullivan of Durham, New Hampshire, during the New York campaign in 1776, and was killed in action at the Battle of Germantown near Philadelphia on October 4, 1777. Despite its plain calligraphy, this horn is among the most beautifully executed of all the horns signed or attributed to Jacob Gay. The owner’s name, engraved in prominent block letters darkened with pigment, is contained within a carved and darkened rectangular cartouche. On top of the cartouche, there are eight soldiers divided into opposing groups of four. The front soldier of each group is firing on the other group; the second and third pairs are marching with their muskets upright; and the fourth pair are holding their muskets over their shoulders. Under the cartouche, there is a scrolling floral design flanking the date, over three rows of animals, each separated from the next by a tree or flower. A bird is eating a fish, a moose is munching on a twig, and a beaver is about to enter a trap, each with a typical Gay expression and form and highlighted with pigment. At the plug end, there is a doe resting on top of a stepped cartouche with the words "SUCCESS TO" flanked by unicorns and typical Gay lion; over a large heart with the word two animals facing each other, over the word “LIBERTY,” over a bust that may be of General Washington. The lion stands on a cartouche with the words "MADE AT" and the right unicorn on one with the word "CAMBRIDGE." There is a human face carved in relief at the tip of the spout, which seems to be overseeing the dispersal of gunpowder. There is a band of carved scalloping around the collar edge; a raised carved ring 2 1/4" from the tip which has a brass post with ring bail mounted on it; a rounded pine plug, which is painted black, secured by four wooden pegs; and a brass furniture knob screwed into the center of the plug.

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