An incised American powder horn attributed to the 'Mementos Mori' carver
Lot 3481
An incised American powder horn attributed to the 'Mementos Mori' carver
US$ 20,000 - 30,000
£12,000 - 19,000

Lot Details
An incised American powder horn attributed to the 'Mementos Mori' carver
The Roman Wetmore horn
The 12 inch cow horn featuring an architectural rendering of the city of Albany and a landscape detailing the Hudson River with buildings variously inscribed with abbreviated identification: (Half)Moon, S-(till)Water, Saratoga and (Fort)Miller. Balance of horn intermittently incised with floral motifs, a small fort and several animals, including a serpent, a stag and an owl as well as some unfinished motifs including a fort and a soldier's legs. The inner curve with a large, framed rectangle enclosed by a crosshatched scrollwork border and inscribed Roman Wetmore/Oswego, Aug. 6, 1760 with a small serpent beside the date. Lower edge with a border of triangles and leaf forms above the flat wooden plug. Upper 4 inches inlet below the single ring spout, this above an incised border, half dentate and half scrollwork.
Condition: Showing wear and scattered marks; spout probably reduced and showing chipping and cracks; replaced plug; the lower edge slightly reduced.
See Illustration

Footnotes

  • Provenance: By direct descent from Amos Wetmore, Roman Wetmore's cousin, who also served in the First Connecticut Regiment.
    Note: A very rare example where there are two horns extant that were owned by the same soldier. In the John S. duMont Collection was another horn inscribed 'Roman Wetmore' and dated 1761. Evidently carved by the same hand as the present example, the horn had been in the duMont Collection since 1959.
    Listings in "Rolls of Connecticut Soldiers in the French & Indian War", published by the Connecticut Historical Society in 1903, indicated that Roman Wetmor served in Captain Timothy Hierlihy's company from Middletown, Connecticut, the 7th Company of the First Connecticut Regiment, from May 30th to November 17th, 1758; March 28th to December 16th, 1759; April 1st to December 27th, 1761 and March 15th to December 9th, 1762.
    Probably carved by the as-yet unidentified Memento Mori carver, as was the other Roman Wetmore horn, as well as another example from the William H. Guthman Collection and now in the Deerfield Museum. It was carved for the soldier John Rockwell, who served along side Mr. Wetmore in the First Connecticut Regiment. His horn is dated August 5, 1760, one day before the present example. There are also two other Memento Mori-attributed horns in the Deerfield Museum, also donated by Mr. Guthman, the Col. Nathan Payson horn and the Joshua Wolcott horn. Col. Payson served as a Captain and Major with the First Connecticut Regiment and Mr. Wolcott served with the Second Connecticut Regiment.
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