Friday, December 16, 2022


 According to the Mariners of Sailors' Snug Harbor History and Genealogy: "Captain Robert Sheffield (1753-1838) was a Revolutionary War Veteran who served in the New York Line 3rd Regiment under Captain John Hulbert. This Regiment was involved in several skirmishes near Lake George, New York in the fall of 1776 and he was wounded in the leg. In 1778, he was captured by the British and imprisoned on the Prison Ship "HMS Whitby" docked off of the Brooklyn coast in Wallabout Bay (near current day Brooklyn Navy Yard). He was fortunate to have escaped this prison ship and told his story to the Connecticut Gazette (July 10, 1778). Sadly, it is estimated that during the war at least 11,500 men died on these prison ships. Captain Sheffield is mentioned (pages 78-79) in Robert Watson's recent book "The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn" which tells the story of the notorious British prison ships (HMS Jersey and others). The Smithsonian Magazine March 2017 article, "The Grisly History of Brooklyn’s Revolutionary War Martyrs", also noted the Captain's harrowing experience on a prison ship. After the Revolutionary War, he became a Mariner and eventually a Shipmaster in New York City. In 1804, he purchased a small island in the Long Island Sound near the harbor of the city of Norwalk, CT. The island was later renamed Sheffield Island in his honor. In the 1820s, the U.S. Government built a Lighthouse on the island and his son-in-law was the Lighthouse Keeper for many years. On August 23, 1837, Captain Sheffield entered Sailors' Snug Harbor and died there on February 20, 1838 at age 85. He is interred in SSH Cemetery. During Sailors' Snug Harbors years of operation (1833-1976), besides their merchant maritime service, many of the SSH Mariners were also military veterans dating back to the American Revolution. After the SSH Mariners Records Registers were re-designed in the late 1860s, by Captain Thomas Melville, many interesting information details were added about the Mariners. One of these details was the number of years sailed on Naval Ships. During an initial review of the SSH Mariners Records Registers, we have noticed that other SSH Mariners were noted as serving in the U.S. Navy. As the registers are transcribed, we will discover many more SSH Mariners whom served in the U.S. Military and Merchant Service during wartime and also share their stories." The horn is accompanied by a 1933 letter from the Historian for Southampton Town and a 1944 Christmas story and poem about the powder horn. The horn itself measures about 12-3/4" across the bow. The spout section has 2 rounded relief rings. The 2-stage body has the main portion engraved with a massive and detailed 40-gun warship across the entire length measuring 8" total. The neatly executed inscription reads "Robert*Shiffield's*Horn / Mad* November*ye 15*1784"There is also a long engraved swordfish. Convex wood plug.

CONDITION: Pleasing honey patina. Shows some wear and some raised grain across masts of ship. A very attractive and historic powder horn.

Final Bid: $3,444.00

Estimate: $3,000 - $6,000

# Bids: 7

More information found here.

Morphy Auction

December 13-15, 2022 Collectible Firearms & Militaria

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