Throughout his lifetime, George Washington enjoyed fox hunting during the fall and winter at Mount Vernon, often inviting his neighbors and business associates to join him in the sport. Slaves William (Billy) Lee and his brother Frank Lee served as huntsmen during Washington's outings, managing the hounds and directing them by means of hunting horns, such as this one, which were played with one hand while riding. The exceptional quality of this horn suggests that its maker, George Henry Rodenbostel of London, originally intended it to be played in an orchestra, rather than the forests of Virginia.


Brass horn with silver trumpet-form mouthpiece; body of horn coils around in a circle to form three and a half loops and then opens to a flaring bell with a rolled lip; brass, U-shaped bracket soldered just below the mouthpiece and onto the first coil; another brass, U-shaped bracket joins the last coil to the neck of the bell; bell is inscribed with a line a third of the way up from the lip; maker's mark, stamped on the side above the coils, is surrounded by scrolling foliage and berry decoration.


c. 1764-1789




Brass, silver


Overall: 22 1/4 in. x 17 3/4 in. x 9 in. (56.52 cm x 45.09 cm x 22.86 cm)
Other (bell alone): 9 1/4 in. x 9 in. (23.5 cm x 22.86 cm)

45.1 cm56.5 cm22.9 cm

* Object size compared to a tennis ball

Credit Line

Bequest of James Alfred Pearce, 1921


Maker's mark stamped on the exterior of the bell, on the lower rim, on the side above the coiled body: "George/ Henry * Rodenbostel/ in * Piccadilly/ London/ 17".

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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