Thursday, 17 December 2015

Thursday.


Above and below are photographs of this week's  MYSTERY OBJECT. It is made in three parts, all of them cow horn, which screw together. Can you tell me please - what the object is, its purpose, when and where it was made (please be specific about 'where' - I do know where experts say these specific items were made, but I wonder about it a bit).  The below photo shows the item disassembled into its three component parts, which should make the guessing about its purpose easy, I think.

P.s. I bought it on EBay yesterday, and it was delivered today, which is good going I think, or rather good and speedy coming/delivery.
                                                                             




                                         Good guessing, and Good Night All.

10 comments:

Tim said...

Is it a prototype albino aubergine? (Sorry, Mike, the season of fun and frivolity is nigh.)

Crowbard said...

Wild guess, Mike; it's a Scottish made whisky flask with a cup at one end and a snuff-mull at t'other.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Tim. Nice to hear from you. No (but I can see what you mean).

Mike and Ann said...

Crowbard. You disappoint me; although you are right in one respect. When these items turn up they are usually credited with being Scotch. I think some of them are, but I see no reason why some they couldn't have been made South of the border, so I usually say "British, possibly Scottish".

Z said...

I thought it might be a shot or powder flask. I suppose horn items are more likely to be Scottish? Or so we Southerners think.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Zoe. Well done. You've got it right. The object is a gun powder flask. The screw off cap to the left of both pictures can be used as a powder measure. The screw in section to the right of the pictures can be removed to refill the flask. I used one of these regularly as a young man just becoming interested in antique guns. They work well. I found that if I used the top as a measure and removed the correct amount of priming powder from the measure, the amount that was left was pretty well the exact amount necessary for the main charge. My main objection to them ALL being classified as Scottish is that, although the scots used cow horn a good deal (and of course there is a plentiful supply of cow horn north of the border - from those long horned cattle of theirs. Many of the Scottish horn artifacts have an owner's name carved on them, together with dates and crests, these turned powder flasks NEVER seem to have names on them; so, as I say, I'm not entirely certain about it.

Well done, all of you. Good joint effort.

Nea said...

We got it right too... A small powder horn, with measure one end and refilling hole the other.
We also think it was for a fine caliber fowling piece, and would probably have fitted comfortably into a pocket.
But you also asked when? We think probably late 18th century, but it's difficult to tell with horn and from a photo.
You also asked us to be specific about where, so we're thinking the head of a cow?
Xxxx

Z said...

Truth to tell, I applied a bit of deduction, I didn't know at all. If you'd bought it in an antique shop, it might just have caught your eye but, as you bought it on eBay, it was more likely to have been a subject-based search. So I thought on from that to a connection with firearms.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Nea and family. You are quite right about when - a few years either side of the year 1800 would be my guess. The Where bit - I'd hoped to get some sense about Scotland as the origin, although You are quite right about the cow's head, but I did say be specific so- left or right?

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Z. A very successful bit of deduction, too. Well done.