Monday, July 12, 2021

2021 CLA Live Auction: Continental Marines Powder Horn by Ron Hess


Powder horns are naturally a big hit at the CLF Fundraising Auction, but artist Ron Hess has donated a truly unique piece for this year’s event.  

Thanks to the research efforts of the Honorable Company of Horners, Hess was able to create a faithful reproduction of one of the most priceless treasures from the Revolutionary War. HCH members were granted access to the original Isaac Ackley horn, which is now in the collection of the National Museum of the Marine Corps just outside of Quantico, Virginia. The horn is considered one of the oldest surviving artifacts from the original Continental Marines initially authorized by Congress in 1775. Thanks to that direct access to the original horn, Hess could consult accurate photographs and measurements of the original.

Hess’ reproduction is sure to result in fierce bidding. The horn depicts two naval vessels, including the legendary frigate Alfred, which led an amphibious raid against the British Bahamas early in 1776. The horn also carries an engraving of an officer with a drawn sword, as well as the owner’s name and patriotic phrases. The horn is 2 ½” wide, 13” long, and has a carved spout, engrailing, and walnut butt. A hand woven and dyed linen strap accompanies this piece of history.

Hess created this powder horn for the benefit of the CLA, which, the artist explains, “is a place where all the artisans, collectors, and students of the longrifle culture can come together and enjoy history.”

For more information on the work of Ron Hess, contact the artist directly:

Photography by David Wright

Text by Joshua Shepherd

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