Friday, September 24, 2021

The Bill Myers Collection by Morphy Auctions



This horn is featured on page 165 of "Accouterments II" by James R. Johnston. Robert Mercer lived between 1737 and 1793. He was born in Cecil County Maryland and died in New Castle, Delaware. Robert fought in the Revolutionary War in the Continental Navy aboard "The Delaware". The first Delaware, a frigate, was built in 1775 by order of the Continental Congress in the Philadelphia Naval Yard. Upon her launching in July 1776, Captain C. Alexander took command. The Delaware served in the Delaware River, joining with Commodore J. Hazelwood's Pennsylvania state ships in operations, delaying the British Fleet in approaching Philadelphia and supplying the British Army. When the British took possession of Philadelphia September 26,1777. The Delaware, along with some smaller ships, advanced on the enemy fortifications which were being erected, and opened a destructive fire while anchored some 500 yards from shore. On September 27, she went aground on the ebb tide and came under the concentrated fire of the British artillery. After a brave defense against overwhelming odds, Captain Alexander was compelled to strike his colors. The Delaware was taken into the Royal Navy until sold in March 1783. Robert Mercer, along with many of the survivors of The Delaware, was taken prisoner and put on board the British Ship "Old Jersey" They were among the more than 8,000 prisoners on board. The horn itself measures about 12" across the bow. It has a tapered round spout section with a single relief ring. There was once a sleeve toward the opening, probably to reinforce it. The main body is decorated extensively with engraved geometric Micmac designs in the traditional style. The front of the horn is inscribed "ROBERT MERCER". Other designs include a mermaid, an elk and a boat. The convex wooden butt is carved in the center with a spiraling fan, iron loop for strap attachment. 

CONDITION: Some minor splintering at tip of spout, some chipping to relief ring on spout section. Main body retains a pleasing honey patina and shows some carry wear. Mercer's middle initial appears to have been intentionally removed long ago. Flange at butt was broken or removed during period of use. A very nice Revolutionary War Continental Navy and Marine horn with great history. 

PROVENANCE: James D. Julia Winter 2018 Fine Art, Asian, and Antiques, Lot 2011 realized $12,705 including premium. Ex. Jim Dresslar and Steve Fuller Collections.

Est: $10,000 - $20,000
$5,000 0 bids

Morphy Auctions

September 29, 2021, 10:00 AM EST
Denver, PA, US

Copy and photos from Morphy Auction here.

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