CLA artists consistently find ways to blend contemporary art with a healthy respect for the past. For this year’s CLF Fundraising Auction, Jack Pennington has contributed an outstanding horn that serves as a tangible chronicle of frontier Pennsylvania. The artist explains that “this horn was built to represent what a coureur-de-bois, French-educated native, or French soldier may have built while garrisoning this particular frontier bastion.”
This impressively-proportioned powder horn, crafted from a bison horn, measures 8 ½ inches around the inner curve and 10 ½ inches around the base. The horn was cleaned and shaped using knives and scrapers and features delicate banding that was shaped entirely with files. The horn features a cherry base plug which is decorated with twelve glass trade beads; the horn’s trumpet spout is fixed with an ebony tuning peg stopper.
Pennington’s skills as an artist are on full display on the intricately-engraved surface of the horn. The decorative scrimshaw includes a heavy dose of Native American motifs, including the Iroquois Tree of Life, a great blue heron, and an eastern woodland scallop design that circles the base plug. French influences are depicted by three dogwood blossoms representing the Holy Trinity, three crosses representing Calvary, a fleur-de-lis, and a map of Fort Duquesne circa 1755. The horn also features a French inscription translated thus: Victory to French Arms; God, Praise be to God, and His Son Jesus Christ.
For more information on the work of Jack Pennington, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Text by Joshua Shepherd
Photography by David Wright
To see all the artists’ postings for the 2022 CLF Fundraising Auction go to: