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Powder Horn Tells Story of Siege of Boston Soldier

Captain Peter Perit's Carved Powder Horn, c. 1775 (Lot 114, Estimate $20,000-$24,000)

Captain Peter Perit’s Carved Powder Horn, c. 1775 (Lot 114, Estimate $20,000-$24,000)

One of the wonderful Powder horns coming up in the next Historic Arms & Militaria auction today (2856M), and arguably one of the best extant Siege of Boston horns carved by craftsman Jacob Gay (Lot 114, Estimate $20,000-$25,000). It was owned by Peter Perit, a Captain of a company in Colonel Charles Webb’s Connecticut regiment. In September of 1775, Webb’s regiment was ordered to Winter Hill for the siege. “TEMPELS FARM” is actually Ten Hills Farm, owned by Robert Temple on the southern bank of the Mystic River right next to Winter Hill. Perit later was in Henry Knox’s artillery, and was captured at Ft. Washington. He was exchanged a few years later, but having been replaced during his time in prison, he had a hard time getting back in the service. As late as 1794, James Blanchard, a former officer in the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment during the Revolution, and an advocate for getting back pay for former Continental officers is writing George Washington trying to get back pay for Perit.

Detail of Captain Peter Perit's Carved Powder Horn

Detail of Captain Peter Perit’s Carved Powder Horn

It is carved with a fiddler and dancing soldiers, British and American forces firing at each other, animals, a Native American, and a mermaid looking at her reflection in a looking glass. Near the pine plug of the horn is the British coat of arms, with “SUCCESS TO AMERICA” and what is thought to be an image of George Washington.  A fantastic example of the folk art and symbolism of powder horns in the 18th century.

We are pleased to offer this powder horn, along with other excellent examples, at the Historic Arms & Militaria.

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