Condition Report

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Back to Great Estates / October 21, 2017



Carved with a scene of the Delaware River flanked by Trenton and Philadelphia with "John Davis 4 Co. 2R. NJM. 1781" carved on reverse, USA, 18th c.; 8"; Provenance: Private collection, Pennsylvania

Sale Price: $5,000

Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000

Condition Report

Condition reports (given as opinion and not as guaranteed statements of fact) are added online throughout the auction process. The absence of a condition report does not imply that there are no condition issues with the lot. Please call (609) 397-9374 or e-mail with any questions about this lot at least 24 hours prior to auction.


This historically significant horn belonged to John Davis of Solebury, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. At the age of 16, in 1776, John Davis joined the Bucks County Battalion of the Flying Camp​. With General George Washington he crossed the Delaware River to Trenton on December 25, 1776, wintered at Valley Forge and fought in the Battle of Monmouth. Davis then enlisted in the Third Pennsylvania under Thomas Butler and fought in the storming of Stony Point, where he was wounded. Near the end of his recuperation he was reassigned by General Washington to serve guard at the hanging of Major John André, a British Army officer convicted of conspiring with Benedict Arnold. His Pennsylvania regiment mutinied in 1781, but Davis was found innocent of that mutiny following discharge. He reenlisted under the command of the Marquis de Lafayette, most likely in the 4th Company, 2nd Regiment of the New Jersey Militia, and was assigned as a sharpshooter by General Washington. Davis was present at the Battle of Brandywine where he helped carry Lafayette from the field of battle and cared for him while he convalesced. (Per Marquis de Lafayette’s memoirs “They carried me from the field to a place of safety and cared for me in a baby like manner”.) John Davis also participated in the Battle of Yorktown and witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis. After the war Davis married Ann Simpson, one of Washington’s female war spies. (Ann received a letter of commendation from General Washington thanking her for her service and distinguished acts of bravery.)