Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound
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FHL WEEK, July 30, 2020

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Which Is the Real John Peel Horn?

Hunting Days of Yore

john peels hornJohn Peel's hunting horn for auction

Mitchell’s, a Cockermouth auction house near Carlisle in Cumbria will hold its Country Sporting Sale from July 22 to July 24, 2020. Cumbria, of course, is where John Peel (1776-1854) hunted hounds. Peel, subject of the well known hunting song, “D’ye ken John Peel?” remains, arguably, the world’s most famous huntsman.

One highlight of the sale includes a hunting horn believed to have belonged to John Peel. The horn is described in the catalog as:

Lot 572
John Peel a curved copper and silver plated hunting horn, reputed to have belonged to the famous huntsman. Bought from the sale at Naworth Castle and was from the collection of Thomas Niven of Ellerslea, Dalston [a Carlisle timber Merchant] in 2001 and sold again in 2013. the horn has been framed by the current vendor measuring 43 cm x 46 cm.
Estimated: £300 - £500

Although John Peel in all likelihood owned more than one horn, this horn to be auctioned is not the John Peel horn once on loan and display at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting at Morven Park. That horn was, in time, returned to the owner at her request and returned to England. Neither did that horn possess a bullet-proof provenance back to Peel, but it was generally believed to be authentic.

john peels hhJohn Peel's hunting horn while at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting

Peel hunted his foot pack in the country now hunted by the Blencathra, established in 1870 and also known as the John Peel Foxhounds. The Blencathra started with hounds previously owned by a John Crozier and other hounds that traced back to John Peel’s pack.

If any reader is interested in bidding on this horn, time is short. It will be auctioned just a few days from publication, between July 22 and 24, and well before this article appears in FHL’s e-magazine. An illustrated catalogue can be viewed online or contact the auctioneer, James Moore, at 01900 827800.

So, which is the real John Peel horn? Or both?

Posted July 20, 2019