Owner of unique powder horn turns down $25,000 on 'Antiques Roadshow'

Unique Powder Horn Gets Snubbed on 'Antiques Roadshow'

On Monday's episode of "Antiques Roadshow," a Las Vegas man brought in a beautiful artifact straight off the battlefields of the Revolutionary War.

"Engraved powder horns are one of the earliest forms of folk art indigenous to North America," the appraiser said on "Antiques Roadshow." Not only were powder horns often ornately decorated, they were a must-have for any 18th century soldier.

As the name suggests, soldiers would use the horn from a bull or oxen to store the gun powder they would eventually load into their rifles. The horns were lightweight, naturally water proof and helped prevent the explosive gun powder from sparking unexpectedly. And as it turned out, they were lots of fun to decorate.

Powder horn on 'Antiques Roadshow'
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Owner of unique powder horn turns down $25,000 on 'Antiques Roadshow'
Photo credit: PBS
Photo credit: PBS
Photo credit: PBS

Decorated powder horns became the norm, but few were as intricate as this one decorated by Benjamin Marcum, one of the owner's ancestors. It featured soldiers, a mermaid and even a warning to anyone who might try to steal the horn "Steal not this horn for fear of shame, for on it is the owner's name." Spooky, right?

All of that hard work paid off, as Marcum survived the war and was able to pass down the keepsake, which would prove to be worth a staggering amount of money.
"This is a grand piece of folk art worth $25,000," the appraiser told him. "Whew I cannot believe that," the owner said.

The owner hopes to keep the horn in his family because he says you can't put a price on history. And that's a good thing because the appraisers can and they decided the horn is worth ten thousand fewer dollars than it was in 2000.
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