Author Topic: New J.P.Beck found  (Read 21058 times)

leatherman

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New J.P.Beck found
« on: December 29, 2010, 09:46:53 PM »
A friend of mine and I went to an auction in York PA a couple of weeks ago to look at a longrifle advertised as a plain old flint smoothbore rifle. The only picture was of the patchbox side and it was poor at best. Well when we rolled the rifle over we both just about s... our pants. We knew exactly what it was. The barrel was signed but it could not be read as it was pitted too much. We took a digital picture of the signature and then blew it up in the camera and it majically appeared. J.P.Beck plain as day. Well we figured what we could scrape together and and got on the bidding but our money ran out and we didnt get it. I spoke to the owner and he said the rifle was given to his wife by an elderly antique dealer 8 years ago. He had it appraissed 2 years ago and was told it was worth $3000. He was only expecting to get that for the gun. Well I will only tell you it went for more that 10 times that. Goes to show they are still out there guys.







*fixed link Dennis*
« Last Edit: December 30, 2010, 02:32:57 AM by ChuckBurrows »

leatherman

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2010, 09:51:45 PM »
Sorry more pictures


*fixed link Dennis*
« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 11:45:23 PM by Dennis Glazener »

Online Fullstock longrifle

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2010, 10:04:07 PM »
Fine rifle.  Your right, there are still some good ones out there waiting to be found, but not many like this one. 

Frank

Offline JTR

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2010, 10:07:29 PM »
Heres the PB side,

« Last Edit: December 29, 2010, 10:08:10 PM by JTR »
John Robbins

Offline lexington1

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2010, 10:30:48 PM »
Wow, what a gorgeous Beck! That's a 'where have you been all my life find'. Thanks for sharing those pics with us.

Online Fullstock longrifle

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2010, 11:42:02 PM »
Leatherman, You seem to be a magnet for finding good guns lately, why don't you rub some rabbits feet and sell them, I'd like to pick up some of that kind of luck myself!   ;D

Frank

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010, 12:11:06 AM »
A spectacular find!!! Thank you for bringing this gun to the table. Wish we could handle it, but the photos say it all, almost as well. Superb attic/closedt condition; hope that the owner doesn't touch it, except for a coat of protective wax. There are similarities between this wood box gun and the one the Frazier Museum has, (carving, architecture, etc.). Wonder if it has 'INRI' engraved on the the bottom of the barrel?
Like almost all of the other wood box Beck guns, this one is uncarved on the right side of the wrist, whereas virtually all of the brass box guns have carving, there. Would like to know if this rifle has a half-round barrel? Nearly all of the wood box guns have this type of barrel. Wonder what was going on in Beck's mind in building these guns?
A minor thing, but the lock looks a bit late for this gun and it may be that it was replaced sometime in the life of the gun. Don't think that Beck lived into the period of the round tailed English lock plate.
Would like to see full length photos of the gun and the box cavity.
Seems to me that the buyer got a bargain on this one. Leatherman, I would much rather that you had won the prize. Thanks again.
Dick

leatherman

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2010, 01:18:25 AM »
I dont have a picture of the rifle full length but I can tell you it did have a octagon to round barrel and it was very thin walled barrel and about 54 cal. The lock really threw us originally when we saw the ad for the auction. The archetechture looked like a beck but the lock looked later period. Had the auction house posted a picture of the carved side there would have been a couple hundred more guys there for sure. I have another gun I found this past year I will post tonight.

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2010, 01:30:50 AM »
Thank you for the additional information. It helps a lot. We'll all be looking forward to your next set of photos this evening. As Frank mentioned, you have a gift for finding em, and this next one must be worth waiting for, too.
Dick

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2010, 03:20:22 AM »
Ohhhhh   Myyyyyy  I'm 49 and wish I had been conscious of these rifles in my
teens when the guns were being set out for garage sales.  I keep hearing
stories.   
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline JTR

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2010, 03:47:05 AM »
Nice rifle, and a lucky buyer!
It sounds like you guys weren't the only ones looking at it with a sharp eye!
If it sold for some over 30K, depending on the condition of the remainder of the gun, that might have been a killer deal, or maybe about all the money.
No more pictures?????
John
John Robbins

leatherman

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2010, 06:31:26 AM »
I think it was a great deal for the buyer as JP Beck is a very collectable maker based on what I have seen sell at gun auctions. We just ran out of available cash or the guy would have had to pay more than he did. The only queastion is how high was he willing to go?

Offline Karl Kunkel

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2010, 06:57:58 AM »
That side plate looks awful flat in the picture.  Maybe a replacement at the same time as the lock?
Kunk

loco219

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2010, 01:16:36 AM »
Thats proof positive to keep looking ! I don't know if this story has been told here before, but it concerns the Beck rifle in the Montgomery house Museum in Danville, Pa.  I was told the story by the curator, a sweet old lady who runs the place. Her phone rings one day and the guy on the other end wants to donate an old muzzleloader. She says fine  bring it over. The guy shows up, gives her the gun, and says when his dad gave it to him he told him to make sure it went to a museum when he got old. Neither one has a clue what it is. A few years pass and the museum is having a function based on civil war relics. There are games, food, etc. to raise funds for the museum. One of the reenactors goes through the museum and he, as you said, just about s^& his pants? He informed these fine ladies what they had sitting in an unlocked case inside. Absolutely true story, the gun is currently insured for 60K. ( I recently shared the story with Brad at Cabin Creek, He is going to Measure the gun this spring and make me a bench copy. )

Offline Bob Pearl

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2010, 01:28:12 AM »
Beautiful condition, finish is great! Unlucky not to own it but a privilege to even put your hands on it. It keeps you going.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2010, 03:56:32 AM »
I dont have a picture of the rifle full length but I can tell you it did have a octagon to round barrel and it was very thin walled barrel and about 54 cal. The lock really threw us originally when we saw the ad for the auction. The archetechture looked like a beck but the lock looked later period. Had the auction house posted a picture of the carved side there would have been a couple hundred more guys there for sure. I have another gun I found this past year I will post tonight.
There are late Becks with round tailed locks.
The 52 cal 1/2oct  smooth rifle in the Cody Museum had a lock like the one in Whiskers "Gunsmiths of Lancaster County"  pg 71 still showing the little tit at the rear of the mortise. It now has a late Birmingham (?) very round tail lock that was likely installed while at Winchester and does not really fit the gun. I think needs to be relocked with a better example but I doubt this will ever happen. It is a dandy Beck very much like the p71 and deserves a far better display than when I last saw it on display. I was fortunate to get a close look at the rifle when it was out of the case a while back though I could not touch ::) But at least I got a look at the lock side. And was able to explain some things about the rifle to the guy helping me look. Fully carved, engraved "whale tail PB" etc.
Its a dandy.
I explained that this was far more significant to America than the Manton double shotgun that have in a walk around case.  They have a nice N Beyer too that is only viewable on one side...
Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

leatherman

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2010, 06:27:47 AM »
Yeah sort of like having a blind date with a gorgeous woman that out of your league and she shoots you down when you ask to see her again. Well it was nice while it lasted.

Offline B Shipman

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2010, 09:44:41 AM »
I don't much care for it. Obvious lock and box replacement poorly done plus repairs of an equal status. Gorgeous rifle attacked by a hack. The rifle would be worth more than the price paid if he had not touched it. A 20 grand swing as far as I'm concerned.

Offline Tony Clark

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2010, 11:22:13 PM »
Oh my gosh!  That is the most wonderful gun I have seen in a very long time.... that is a treasure. Proof that going to auctions still pays albiet you have to go to one h#ll of a lot of them to find something like that. I love that gun :D

happy new year! tc


after I made my post and am reading the other comments... who cares if A hack gunsmith made some changes ? it is a beck gun for petes sake and a nice one , nice stock architecture and nice carving . The hack gunsmith mods are just a part of the history of this piece, and I don't know why it is reffered to as being "hack" work... remember... there was a time when  gun just being FUNCTIONAL was the priority. In retrospect we can look back and say sure it would have been nice if this or that had happened ... but that ain't reality. Very nice gun I just love that thing just the way it is , I can fully appreciate all I imagine it had been through. A very nice and exceptional rarely fond treasure as far as I am concerned.......................................................
« Last Edit: December 31, 2010, 11:29:37 PM by Tony Clark »

leatherman

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2011, 02:36:36 AM »
I have to agree. We looked at the lock / Lock mortise very closely and determined it was probably replaced a long time ago. Also the patch box seemed to be very old on the bottom side but for some reason looked like it had been refinished or at least cleaned up as it didnt match the rest of the rifle stock, probably was a replacement way back when. The stock was very dry and cracked but had not been touched or repaired any where. A little cleaning and wax would make the wood pop on the rifle. The barrel was badly pitted. No hack job on this rifle just lots of use and ageing from probably hanging over a fireplace for years drying out the wood.

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2011, 02:59:23 AM »
Just for the naysayers; a friend who is a KY dealer, primarily, conjectured that this rifle is potentially worth twice what the gavel price was. KY collectors do not tend to look at original guns the way builders, or the less infomed, see them. The name, original condition and the ornamentation are what appeals to them. A lot of money was left on the table at that auction
unless I miss my guess.
Dick 

Offline Blacksmoke

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2011, 05:21:13 AM »
A genuine J.P. Beck rifle!!  What a find! :P  Who cares if it has been "hacked" - it can always be "unhacked"! by someone who knows what they are doing.  The odds of finding an "untouched" Beck are astronomical!  So lets preserve what's left and be thankfull to have the privilege to do it.                       Hugh Toenjes
H.T.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2011, 08:42:06 AM »
These guns are national treasures. No matter who's name is or is not on the barrel.

Having one in this condition posted on the site is a gift.

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline greybeard

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2011, 04:49:03 AM »
Little wonder folks are attracted to Beck rifles.

Offline gusd

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Re: New J.P.Beck found
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2011, 05:09:15 AM »
Thanks for posting. Much learned just studying these pictures!
Gus D. :)