Celebrating Wildlife Art & the Sporting Life

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Hunter’s Habit: A Collection of Hunting Firearms and Accoutrements

February 1 – May 1, 2016

Presented by the Charleston Museum and sponsored by the Charleston Mercury

The Charleston Museum is proud to present, in conjunction with the 2016 Southeastern Wildlife Expo, Hunter’s Habit: A Collection of Hunting Firearms and Accoutrements, a special exhibition sponsored by the Charleston Mercury. Hunter’s Habit will display various historical examples of sporting rifles and shotguns from the South Carolina Lowcountry and other parts of the South along with hunting related materials such as clothing, decoys and powder flasks. The exhibit will draw upon the Museum’s rich collections as well as those of private collectors.

Lowcountry residents have had a long history of interaction with their environment. As settlers arrived in Charleston in the late 17th century, they were quick to recognize the abundance of game that inhabited the area, including turkeys, bear, deer and numerous species of waterfowl. This variety of game satisfied an immediate need for sustenance but also heralded a proud tradition of hunting in the Lowcountry that continues to the present. This tradition spawned a unique cooperation of craftsmen that included local and regional gunsmiths, blacksmiths, silversmiths, woodcarvers and even jewelers, who together created not only elegant hunting rifles and shotguns but also accessories such as powder horns, shot pouches, and duck decoys.  Although intended to be fully functional, the artisanship of these craftsmen produced splendid firearms and accoutrements that befitted the style of Charleston’s elite sportsman.