Wednesday, 23 September 2015

More On The Shot Pouch-A Personal Choice.

The shot pouch was and is a practicle item worn by some hunters/shooters. This pouch carries the shot and tools necessary for the functioning of a muzzle-loading gun or rifle. As to the wearing of a shot pouch, it is not my purpose here to dictate how it should be correctly worn, as I think this is a personal choice. I have found though that carrying the shot pouch too low poses problems when hunting in the bush, so I wear my own pouch as high as I can under my right arm and still get my hand into the pouch without having to move it to my front.
My shot pouch is not large, and a larger opening would I think allow me to wear it higher. Also I may be a little restricted from a past shoulder injury, so these are things to take into account when viewing original painting of the period. The paintings here are 18th and 19th century, as it is the position of the pouch we are concerned with when it is worn by those who earn their living from hunting and trapping.

Someone recently made the observation that Gentlemen may not necessarily wear a shot pouch in the same way as a hunter or trapper. This could quite possibly be true, so I have included artwork of Gentlemen shooters as well as hunters and trappers. But as you will see, very few Gentlemen actually used a shot pouch, preferring instead to carry their accouterments in their coat pockets. 

Attributed to David, Antonio (Italian painter, active 1684) , William Howard, Viscount Andover (1714-56).

England 1769 William Hulton with Gun-Dog and Shotgun by Henry Pickering (British artist, fl 1740-c 1771).

Fleetwood Hezketh
Joseph Wright of Derby (1769)

England 1680 John Poulett, 1st Earl Poulett by John Closterman (British artist, 1660-1711).

The pouch hanging on the tree looks too small to be a game bag.
England 1774 Sir Edward Hales, Baronet, of Hales Place, Hackington, Kent by Philip Mercier (German-born painter, c 1689-1760).

Detail from James and Mary Shuttleworth...
Joseph Wright of Derby (1764)

This English Gentleman appears to have a shot pouch on a waist belt, which can be seen on the rock to the right.
England 1752 A Sportsman by Edward Haytley 1752.

This Gentleman is indeed using what appears to be a shoulder slung shot pouch, but this I believe was painted in America.
1782 Colonel John Onslow by Ralph Earl (American painter, 1751-1801).

The following paintings are of hunters and trappers in America.

The Trapper's Bride, Alfred Jacob Miller.


No artist named for this painting.

Joseph Brant 1790.

Again, no artist named, but notice the pouch hanging over the powder horn.

Two American riflemen as drawn by a Hessian. These could be cartridge boxes or shot pouches. Also note the bayonets ! Some artistic licence being used here I suspect.

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