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This charming powder horn was engraved for Samuel Dudley, a New England soldier serving in Warwick, Rhode Island, in December 1777. The engraved decoration — including a whimsical unicorn, a pair of moose, and two sword-wielding figures with the phrase "Try It Out" — is attributed to Jacob Gay, a prolific powder horn engraver whose surviving work spans 1758-1787. Gay may have been a soldier himself, carving horns to earn extra money or food while serving in the American Army.

Object Details

  • Powder Horn
    Engraved by Jacob Gay
    Warwick, Rhode Island
    December 26, 1777
    Horn (cow), Wood
    Museum of the American Revolution

Take a Closer Look

This image shows the detail of Samuel Dudley's powder horn. It is a close up shot of an engraving in the powder horn, it shows two gentlemen in the middle of a duel with their swords in the air and walking toward one another. The text “Try It Out” are written in the middle of the men.
Detail of Samuel Dudley's Powder Horn


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William Waller's Powder Horn

This powder horn was carried by Virginia rifleman William Waller and is etched with the slogan "LIBERTY or DEATH."
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This image shows the powder horn of Peter Perit. The horn has illustrations of a king and his horse, as well as a violinist and two figures dancing.

Peter Perit’s Powder Horn

Captain Peter Perit used this powder horn, featuring decorations that include the lion and unicorn from the British Royal Coat of Arms, at the Siege of Boston in 1775.
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This image shows Abel Scott's Powder Horn. It is displayed against a white background. It is attached to a brown strap.

Abel Scott's Powder Horn

This engraved powder horn belonged to Abel Scott, a New England soldier who served in five military campaigns of the Revolutionary War.
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