Ft. Duquesne Powder Horn by Jack PenningtonKatie Horn
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