Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Hartley Horn Drawings: A Collection of Powder Horn Drawings by Robert M. Hartley. A book review.

November 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Book Review, Powder Horns, Product Review

The Hartley Horn Drawings: A Collection of Powder Horn Drawings by Robert M. Hartley
79 Pages
11″ X 8-1/2″
Full-color illustrations and photographs
Presented by The Honourable Company of Horners
Published by the Scurlock Publishing Company

This review of The Hartley Horn Drawings (more commonly called The Hartley Book) is by me, a novice horn maker and the webmaster of The Honourable Company of Horners website. I know more about web design than horns, but I am doing my darndest to close that gap! And this book helps immensely.

What do illuminated script, calligraphy, folk art and history have in common? They all come together in a practical object used by our ancestors in the form of an engraved powder horn! Robert Hartley was inspired by these unique objects used by our ancestors.

Robert Hartley was a prolific collector of Americana and antiques and an amateur historian. He saw a need in the mid-1930s to document French and Indian War powder horns. His technique was to copy the complete three dimensional horns as flat drawings. (Imagine peeling-off a product label from a can and displaying it flat. That is not a great description, but I hope you get the idea.) In the process of copying the horns, Mr. Hartley created his own art that we get to enjoy today.

In the mid-1940′s, as least forty of these powder horn drawings were given to the Margaret Reaney Memorial Library in the Village of St. Johnsville, New York. There they were conserved, but they had not been published.

John Proud, a Master Horner, became interested in the drawings and thought they deserved to be seen by everyone in the form of a book. The result is a 79 page book with color illustration and photographs of the actual horns in a few instances. The book is pre-pended with a history of The Honourable Company of Horners and an informative article on how to render your own powder horn drawing.

This publication has become one of my new favorites. I highly recommend this for your library or as a gift for the lover of history.

Thanks for reading,
Rick Sheets
By the way, please see the review written by my friend, Rich Pierce, as it appears on the HCH Blog. Click here to see it.
To purchase the book, click here.

The Hartley Horn Drawings. F&I horns are drawn “flat.”


2 Responses to “The Hartley Horn Drawings: A Collection of Powder Horn Drawings by Robert M. Hartley. A book review.”
  1. Hello –
    I wanted to let The Honourable Company of Horners know that there is now a FaceBook page/blog for those interested in the work of Rufus Grider … called Rufus Grider 1817-1900 … update three times per week.

    Grider was the inspiration and master of Robert Hartley, as most of you know. But did you know that there are more than 16 of Grider’s original and fabulous FW and REV period powder-horn drawings — from the N-Y Historical Society, and most displayed for the first time ever — now on view at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, NY until August 14? Would love it if you’d make a point of coming to see them and a sampling of the rest of Grider’s fascinating range of work, and pass this along to friends who might like to know!
    Ask John Proud — I was the one who first sent him to see the Hartleys in St. Johnsville ;-) and he was a most welcome attendee at the opening lecture of this exhibition, when he presented me with a copy of this new Hartley book…
    Alice Smith Duncan, Guest Curator, ‘Drawn to the Same Place”

    May 16, 2011

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