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Sundown Social Auction: Republic of Texas Powder Horn



by Banjo Eddy and Sylvia Ellis

Republic of Texas Horn with carved mahogany star base plug, dyed color accents, and permanently- attached tip with violin key tip plug, 2015. Property of the Washington on the Brazos Park Association to be offered at auction in 2016 (at The Sundown Social event).

Created by “Banjo Eddy” Ellis, this is a large piece made from natural cow horn. The scrimshaw is accentuated with alcohol-based dyes. Lathe-turned tip and carved base plug are mahogany finished with spar varnish. Staples and brad accents are brass.

A red-white-and-blue sash strap, Inkle loom-woven of cotton by Sylvia Ellis, is included.

The scrimshaw is very durable, and should last indefinitely. It is recommended that a coat of Johnson’s or MinWax paste wax be applied occasionally to the horn surface to clean, buff and preserve it. The turned mahogany tip is permanent – Do not try to unscrew it. Protect the horn from insect or rodent pests. (They love to eat horn!) In general, displaying it in the open and in the light is good. If storing the horn away in a dark or closed space, adding a few moth balls is a good idea to keep away bugs.

– Col. Banjo Eddy Ellis, The Texas Army

About Robert Edward (Ed) Ellis (“Banjo Eddy”)

Colonel, the Texas Army; Knight of Texas; Maker of fine powder horns and period accoutrements; e-mail:  banjoeddy@aol.com

banjo-eddyBanjo Eddy is a retired drilling fluids engineer, a US Air Force veteran, and a working artist with BA and MFA in Graphics and Printmaking from LSU. Reared in New Orleans, he has maintained his home in The Woodlands, Texas since 1980.

His interest in arts and crafts from the Texas Independence Period was spurred by his life-long interest in history and his wife’s positions as historic museum director and teacher. He has been a Colonel of the Texas Army since 1998 and was a former member of the New Army of the Republic of Texas and Raven’s Rangers at the Sam Houston Museum in Huntsville, Texas beginning in 1992.

Banjo Eddy’s strives to make his creations both fully functional and high quality in artistic vision and quality of construction. As much as possible, materials and methods are completely traditional except where issues of safety or long-term durability dictate use of modern materials. Those materials are kept to a bare minimum and never intrude on the presentation of the finished product.

Scrimshaw engraving on his powder horns and accoutrements have featured both historic and modern badges and seals; modern and historic maps; scenic representations; naval themes; fine arts images; portraits; wildlife and hunting scenes; historic and modern military symbols; Celtic, Gaelic and Nordic themes; and almost any other image requested by the owner so long that it does not conflict with the historic and traditional aesthetics of the piece.

Horns and other accoutrements are sold as finished items or as custom commissions to the buyer’s specifications. Creations can be viewed on FaceBook page “Ed Ellis – Banjo Eddy”.

About Sylvia Byrnes Ellis

Artist and Teacher; Historic Reenactor; Weaver; Maker of period clothing, toys and crafts; e-mail:  sylellis1@aol.com

sylvia-byrnes-ellisSylvia Ellis is a retired university teacher, historical museum director and art curator. Native of New Orleans and claiming both Acadian French and Irish heritage, she has maintained her home in The Woodlands, Texas since 1980.

She is a working artist with BFA and MA in Ceramics, Sculpture and Studio Fine Arts. On the faculty of several colleges including several locations in the Lone Star college system. She has been Curator of the Nave Museum and Director of the MacNamara House Historical Museum in Victoria, Texas; Director of the Wharton County Historical Museum in Wharton, Texas; and Demonstrator and Guide at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum in Huntsville, Texas.

She is an accomplished painter specializing in the encaustic medium, and has shown her work as a featured artist at numerous venues.

Sylvia has researched and documented crafts of the nineteenth century, and creates and demonstrates those crafts during historic reenactments with the Texas Army. She strives to make her creations both fully functional and high quality in artistic vision and quality of construction. As much as possible, materials and methods are completely traditional.