Author Topic: PA Rifle but where and who? (toeplate pictures added 6/20)  (Read 27140 times)

Offline flintriflesmith

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PA Rifle but where and who? (toeplate pictures added 6/20)
« on: June 14, 2011, 05:25:45 AM »
This rifle is a family gun and the owner has asked to remain anonymous but I believe y'all will enjoy seeing the pictures and perhaps be able to shed some light on who and where.

To my limited knowledge of PA rifles it looks like an interesting mix of Lancaster and Lehigh/Allentown. Post your thoughts here or send me a PM.

Gary




Note curve to toe line and the slight step.







Lock looks like a 1950-60 reconversion with Dixie Gun Works parts.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 05:15:33 AM by flintriflesmith »
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Offline flintriflesmith

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who? PART TWO
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2011, 05:39:23 AM »
A few more pictures --- for some reason they wouldn't all fit in one posting.













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Offline woodsrunner

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2011, 05:58:58 AM »
Don't I see some Dickert influence  ???

Offline BJH

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 06:13:04 AM »
I was thinking Dickert until I saw the side plate. If the side plate is original then may be it is the primary clue to attribution?
BJH

Offline B Shipman

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2011, 08:15:58 AM »
John Brooks. There is nothing to make an attribution, but the smell is there. Prehaps someone with something I have not seen can find something similar. Lancaster then  very early Harrisburg area.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 08:19:14 AM by B Shipman »

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2011, 08:36:19 AM »
Could be one of the Aldenderfers. They began up in the north, but but went down to Lancaster. Kindig shows a grand rifle by one of them and there may be some common traits here with those guns. Nice rifle Gary, and I hope that you are going to assist in preserving it. Thank you for posting the photos. Much appreciated!
Dick

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2011, 01:08:49 PM »
Looks like that crazy bastard Isaac Berlin.   :-X :o

I'm feeling a little silly this morning - no way to really pinpoint the gun but there are some interesting details thereupon and my first gut feel was Berlin, despite the wrapping....

On a side note, that "Lancaster Daisy" absolutely DID get used up the Delaware river between Philadelphia and Easton.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 01:14:18 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
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Offline G-Man

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 03:34:07 PM »
I assume you are pretty certain it is from PA, but for what it's worth the patchbox, carving and tang shape look to have some similarities to guns attributed as early Piedmont North Caroilina guns  - i.e. some of those that look like the work of transplanted PA makers.

Guy

Offline Fullstock longrifle

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 03:57:33 PM »
Thanks for posting the pictures Gary, it's a very interesting rifle.  I agree that it's Pennsylvania, but every picture seems to show features from a different region of Eastern PA.  Sometimes you just never know for sure who the maker was, but I do know that I would like to have it in my collection!   8)

FK
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 11:13:21 PM by Fullstock longrifle »

Offline Don Getz

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 04:14:43 PM »
There are those who have created that new "Alemengle" school, maybe this gun should be the start of a new Lancaster-
York school, someone who lived right on the border.  This is coming from memory, which isn't too good, but isn't the carving behind the tang somewhat York....Schroyer?.........Don

Offline Blacksmoke

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 05:38:09 PM »
With my limited knowledge of old originals - I am looking at the breech tang.  If it is original to the gun, isn't the pointed tail indicative of "post 1800" even 1830's - 1840's on a Pennsylvania gun?
Hugh Toenjes
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Offline G-Man

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2011, 06:17:43 PM »
It isn't the norm on Lancaster or York guns in the 18th century.  Some PA rifles occasionally used the notched/thumbnail finial. There may be least one or two "unattributed/maybe PA/maybe southern" guns in RCA that have pointed tangs.   But squared/flared seems to be the norm.

On the other hand, short pointed tangs like this were not uncommon by the 1790s (if not 1780s) in Virgnia and North Carolina.

And as has been pointed out, this gun saw a lot of use so it could have been rebreeched.

The York and Lancaster influences traveled far southward by 1780.  Those locations, as well as Maryland, Virginia or North Carolina would not surprise me for this gun.  

Guy
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 06:32:36 PM by G-Man »

Offline bgf

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2011, 06:34:45 PM »
I'm with you on this, Guy, although I assume the PA attribution has some basis.  Transplant to NC via several moves in Valley of Va.. would be my guess.  The sideplate (not unlike Upper Valley designs), patchbox and star would not be impossible anywhere, although the patchbox looks more at home in NC outside of PA.  Something about the toe line is remarkable.  The double molding line and the stepped wrist are early (as suggested by BP) Va. or NC, but don't look like SW Va. typically does due to lines cut in BP, esp. in conjunction with that curve.  The tang looks dubious to me, but suggests SW Va. or more likely NC in light of the other things.

Offline flintriflesmith

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2011, 06:43:16 PM »
... And as has been pointed out, this gun saw a lot of use so it could have been rebreeched.
Guy

If you look carefully at the inletting of the tang and the way the carving (although damaged) flows around it, I believe you will see no evidence of the barrel being rebreeched.

Gary
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Offline G-Man

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2011, 06:47:49 PM »
It looks original to me too Gary, but I will be the first to admit I have a hard enough time spotting such modifications when I have them in hand, much less photos ;) - so I trust your judgment!  Personally, I am hoping it is the original tang.

PS - I really like the small eight pointed star carved in the area surrounded by the C-scroll behind the cheek - anyone seen this on another rifle?  Looks fairly unique.  The little incised knobs on the lock and sidplate panel molding finials are also a little atypical and may also help pin it down - although they do turn up now and then - even on English guns.

Guy
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 06:55:32 PM by G-Man »

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2011, 06:50:56 PM »
It's later and I've had a lot of coffee, so I don't feel so silly now.  The more I look at it, the more strongly I feel that there is a connection to Berlin, or I should say, the signed rifle and the unsigned pieces attributed to him in comparison.  Also, I have examined a rifle which I feel is probably an early John Moll with almost identical tang carving - not that it really means anything, but there it is.  I feel pretty strongly that this rifle has some kind of Northampton County connection.
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2011, 07:17:05 PM »
Gary, Is the forend cap open on the end? Does kinda look like a Allentown rear sight too.   Smylee

Offline bgf

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2011, 10:04:38 PM »
Compare the sideplate to the one in this thread:
http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=16364.msg153644#msg153644

That one is believed likely to be Va., but also is unknown.  To me, the sideplates look almost identical in design, just a bit different in execution.

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2011, 10:19:03 PM »
Forgive me, but I see little or no relationship between these sideplates
other than the silhouette which is only similar.
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Online rich pierce

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2011, 10:39:12 PM »
I see the combo of Northampton and Lancaster signatures but not the Berlin connection.  Distinctive lock panels on most Berlin guns and can't imagine him not engraving the patchbox.  Some influence tho.
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Offline G-Man

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2011, 10:47:44 PM »
Just for fun I will throw this out there - the buttstock architecture - i.e. the just slightly curved toe and the way the lower straight edge of the cheekpiece gets carried forward and rearward a bit past the edges of the cheekpiece itself - sort of undercutting those areas - calls to mind some of William Antes'  work.  Patchbox could also fall into his stylistic realm.  I have not studied his work in enough detail to speak to any other possible similarities.

Guy
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 10:48:42 PM by G-Man »

Offline DaveM

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2011, 01:16:27 AM »
Gary, you mentioned this is a family gun.  Does that mean it has been in someone's family for many generations?  If so, it would be interesting to hear the family's perspective on its origins, and where the family was from.  It is rare for a piece like this to have a potential history connected to it.

Dave

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2011, 01:19:00 AM »
Are there initials on the back of that buttplate?  I see a WH or HM, depending on which way you look at it - like they were scratched in a long time ago.  Could just be coincidence, staining or scratches that look like initials.
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2011, 01:20:53 AM »
One would *expect* the box to be engraved, but then the sideplate is shaped for engraving also and yet is blank....  it may simply be an issue of what someone was willing to pay for.
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Offline JCKelly

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Re: PA Rifle but where and who?
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2011, 02:20:39 AM »
Left butt carving, including how the lower edge of the cheek piece is handled, looks very much like John Haga, Lancaster. This patchbox is simpler than JH's, this sideplate much fancier. Me I think the butt is Lancaster . . . no comment on patchbox.