Author Topic: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY  (Read 27955 times)

Offline ohiostate

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2012, 07:09:37 PM »
Can someone post pics of this gun, I have seen them before, but can't find right now.

Thanks

mkeen

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2012, 08:40:19 PM »
WARNING: OPINION ALERT
After handling the gun, I am inclined to believe the initials and date on the rifle are not of its period of use.  I did not look under extremely high magnification, but I believe you can see "bright" in the edges of the cuts, and still raised burrs.  In other words, after that was cut, the gun was not handled or used enough to abrade or polish that down and then repatinate it to match the surrounding brass.  Even casual handling for 250 years I assume would have slowly abraded it and recolored it, if it had been scratched in during the year 1756.


I would have to agree with Alan on this assessment. What I saw on the markings was NJ with a period only after the J. There was no period after the N. The 1756 NJ. looked like it could have been scratched on even ten years ago. Trying to attribute family ownership is nearly impossible. Sometimes it works, but mostly it does not. To settle estates most times a public auction was held. That's a lot of auctions between 1756 and now. If a family member wanted pop's gun they would have to buy it. To establish original ownership you must do an entire ancestral chart for the last documented owner. That's a lot of people till you get back to the 1700's. Then you have to study the estates and their inventories and its really helpful if you have the craftsman's account book to verify they bought an object.

Martin

Offline flintriflesmith

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2012, 09:22:29 PM »
An incorrect date can be applied for any number of reasons to an old gun, without the burden of it being done to deceive or increase value, ... Some previous family member or other well meaning person may have believed they putting some significant date and initials, whether for New Jersey or Norman Johnson for that matter.  It may be the birth year of some relation that they believed had owned the gun for example and wanted to record that for posterity.  ... Regardless, the date is secondary to the gun, whether from 1756 or 1926, and not applied by its maker.  Another point to keep in mind is that the gun can only be traced in the family of the current owner back to his father's uncle.  There is no family history that claims the gun was in this family any earlier than his father discovered it on the uncle's farm in the 20th century.  I believe the owner told me the uncle himself had claimed to have no idea where it had come from or how it came to be on the farm.     
... ;D

I'm not aware of the story of this rifle being "discovered" on a farm. The family that owned it in the mid-1980s was touring Colonial Williamsburg and Dave Wagner, my apprentice, talked to them out at the forge and learned about the family rifle. The family sent us a set of pictures and at the time they said the rifle was in Colorado.. I'll see if I can find the old snapshots but we were told back then to keep it a secret.
The scratched on date was there before 1990 and they said they shot it once each 4th of July in honor of the family history..
Gary
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Offline eastwind

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2012, 01:14:25 AM »
I'm not speaking for the State of Pennsylvania here, but I can say that as a result of the Exhibit (highly promoted in the area), the owners simply brought it into Landis valley and offered it for display. I was not there at the time.
Apparently, they were holding it waiting for a dealer to get back to them with a bid or some kind of direction. They got impatient after some time--longer than I best say and confused by $$$ they were hearing.
After it walked in, the Landis curator, who clearly knew it was not a potted plant called a few of us close to Landis and asked about it... of course all of us could not believe it.
But we were in accord that the State should try to get it... or at least "buy some time" for further study.
That is where it is now--they did not unfairly or it any way nefariously, capture the rifle. The owners simply want to find a good home for it, apparently they are upset with the gun dealer community, so that seems to be accurate as someone said here. I think they are more comfortable with it at Landis and keep in mind some big donors do exist in Lancaster (the locals greatly apprecaite early history of the Lancaster area) so there is every reason to believe they can aquire the $$$ to buy it if all the right cards fall into place.

At least for now it is in good hands and it is possible it will be there for much longer than the Exhibit ending in December.

Not much else I can add on the background.

Patrick Hornberger
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2012, 01:37:31 AM »
Your efforts and explanation are much appreciated.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline JDK

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2012, 03:14:22 AM »
I understand that this may not be an option at this point but would like to know when we can expect the gun to be published?  Perhaps a supplement to the exhibit book for an additional fee to support the museum or to perhaps raise money for the purchase of the rifle?

Thanks, J.D.
J.D. Kerstetter

Offline Tom Currie

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2012, 03:36:34 AM »
Maybe I'm stoked with only three days to go to Dixon's and releasing nervous energy , but I'll add my own opinion on RIch Pierce's' thoughts and a thought on the Musician rifle.

First on the Musicians rifle,  I don't see Albrecht or Christian's Spring involved. Carving pattern looks much different in style to me and on CS work we don't see any of the raised area behind the cheekpiece that see on the musicians rifle and the Brass Barrelled rifle and it's twin for example. Also the PB lid engraving is sort of old world in a way and doesn't match in style a rifle where the carving and engraving sore of match or appear done  by a single hand.

Regarding the Schroyer tang carving, I llook at Shumways 92 and Kindigs 18 and wonder who made them. Same hand in my opinion as they both share PB lid engraving and also "hooks" in the Cheek carving, RCA 92 has tang carving  Shumway associates, and by his own admission over associated, with Schroyer. However signed Schroyer rifles don't have the hooks in the carving.  Two Newcomer guns have almost identical tang carving also.   Schroyer picked it up somewhere and I suspect in his mysterious years in Lancaster. Not implying it was Newcomer just providing an example.


Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2012, 05:52:56 PM »
I left the photos that I have up on a photobucket page since nobody has b*itched at me to take them down:

http://s573.photobucket.com/albums/ss172/moldyoak/

Many have searched for some kind of connection between this rifle and other rifles, especially the assumed-CS rifles.  I think it's a really tough stretch.  One thing of interest:  take the photo of the tang carving, and put your hand over the portion behind the end of the tang.

Some have suggested the gun is American but the furniture, like the lock and barrel most likely, are imported.  The problem with that - again - is the box, because the engraving all shows continuity.  While the box certainly would be easy for any German gunsmith/locksmith to make, if it was German, one would think *at least one* other German example would have surfaced, especially given the much higher survival rate of European arms.

Possibly the engraved decoration was executed by someone other than the gunsmith?  After all, any trained European engraver could have executed that work, and emigration to America would not suddenly negate his training.

I'm not aware of anyone recently being able to partially or wholly disassemble the rifle.  Possibly there may be something more to be found either under the barrel or on the underside of the buttplate etc.
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Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #33 on: July 25, 2012, 07:59:36 PM »
Is that not definitely London Bridge on that patchbox?  The spire and tower are in the right
position in relation to the bridge.  It was built in 1824. Case closed.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 08:05:19 PM by Suzkat (Rob) »
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 rich pierce

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2012, 08:51:23 PM »
That London bridge thing is funny.

More comments, not conclusions.  The lockplate engraving seems by a different hand than the furniture engraving and was probably not the stocker.  It's hard to imagine a suite of furniture including a brass box coming from Europe to stock an American gun.  The buttplate, guard and sideplate, for sure.  This leads me to question whether the person who engraved the patchbox engraved the rest of the furniture.  Does anybody have ideas on that?

It would be great to know the rifle's storyline, but meanwhile we can have fun speculating. I lean to the gun being stocked in Philadelphia or some major city where sophistication and wealth were more prevalent among the "german" immigrants.  A Euro-trained Philly gunstocker is happy to have a customer with deep pockets and a sense of taste.  He stocks up the gun with an imported barrel and a local lock and takes it down the street to the silversmith or whomever to get the gun engraved.
St. Louis, Missouri

Online Stophel

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2012, 09:11:53 PM »
The only German metal boxes I know of are on the aforementioned Stockmar guns.  There are at least two, they are part of garnitures of a rifle, smoothbore and pistols.  Probably there were several identical sets made.  They APPEAR to be a flip up sort of thing with a little lip for you to catch your thumbnail on to flip it open.  They are oval shaped, hinged on the bottom.   I do not know of any others of any type until the 19th century.

The Musician Rifle, compared to German guns, looks like a broadly typical central-ish German rifle... leaning, perhaps, a bit towards the South.

There are a few Maple stocked German rifles.  Not many, but a few.  I wonder if it is simply because curl is rarer in their trees.  I don't know.    The Dutch used a lot of maple for gunstocks, and it is almost standard for fine Spanish guns (as I understand it, Spanish walnut is usually coarse and plain and somewhat unattractive).  If the Musician rifle is a German made gun, it is maybe even more significant than as an American gun because of the box!   :D
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2012, 09:41:29 PM »
Rich, Not intended as humor.  I believe that IS the London Bridge.
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 Buck

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2012, 10:09:16 PM »
Rob,
Looks like London Bridge. I thought it was funny ;D. Gun looks European. The Head of the patch box finial is a character found in European style "folk art" (for lack of a better term). I am not an expert just a observation.
Buck
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 11:31:50 PM by buck »

Offline rich pierce

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2012, 10:17:52 PM »
Rich, Not intended as humor.  I believe that IS the London Bridge.

If it is the 1824 London Bridge then the gun is an hisoric part of the London Bridge story.  The architect of the London Bridge saw the rifle.......... ;)

There's nothing stylistic or mechanical about the patchbox which is post-Revolutionary War.  There were a lot of bridges in Europe and the colonies.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2012, 10:35:06 PM »
Gun built before the rev war, engravings done after 1824. Those other bridges Don't have a tower to their immediate left And a round spire 2 its left. London bridge 99%
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 rich pierce

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2012, 11:08:08 PM »
So, your hypothesis is that someone engraved the patchbox with a current London bridge and people with century-old garb, post-1824, but did not convert the gun to percussion, which was commonly done.  It could be but sounds complicated.  Anyway, it's all speculation and doesn't get us closer to who made it, when and where, which are the questions that interest me most.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline spgordon

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2012, 11:25:07 PM »
Well ... London Bridge "has" "a tower to their immediate left And a round spire 2 its left" only when you're looking from a particular angle--the particular angle that image depicts. So, even if the image did reproduce the same features (bridge, tower, spire) that are on the patchbox, you'd have to imagine that the engraver of the patchbox was situated similar to where the guy who did the London Bridge image was. Which seems far-fetched.

Note that on the patchbox the "round spire 2 its left" is part of a wall, perhaps a city wall, of some sort--nothing like the free-standing tower in the image of London.

So if we think the engraver of the patchbox was trying to reproduce a scene that he actually saw, he wasn't depicting the scene in the London Bridge image.

Or at least that's how it looks to me.


« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 11:41:34 PM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2012, 11:59:22 PM »
Maybe the engraver in Philadelphia in 1826 took it upon himself to pretty up a 50 year old gun using the picture of the London Bridge as his inspiration and then like Tom Curran, took poetic or artistic license to make the image better fit the patch box........... well he coulda.......

In any event the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle are not coming together very well for me.......are we sure Kettenburg didn't build this rifle.... sometime after 1824???
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Offline Buck

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2012, 12:00:45 AM »
Gentlemen,
Look at this guy, is he familiar?  He is the guy on the patch box finial. This guy is the "Green Man" he was pretty popular in England, Ireland and Scottland. Maybe a coincidence with the London Bridge theory.          
 
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 12:09:17 AM by buck »

Offline JTR

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2012, 12:19:00 AM »
So how about the rearward facing horn the one guy is playing as a datable item?
From what I've heard (antiques roadshow, google ) rearward facing horns were invented in the US about the time of the Civil War, for military bands.

Curiously,
John
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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2012, 12:30:28 AM »
Standard, run of the mill, 18th century hunting horn.   ;)

When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline Buck

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2012, 01:05:51 AM »
John,
This horns (rearward or french horn) origins are based in Germany, not in the US. In 1971 the International Horn Society tried to have the "French" removed from its title and simply have it called a Horn. Stopphel has supplied a great picture. It would appear that this rifle is very much European at least in decoration.
Buck

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2012, 02:08:18 AM »
Well ... London Bridge "has" "a tower to their immediate left And a round spire 2 its left" only when you're looking from a particular angle--the particular angle that image depicts. So, even if the image did reproduce the same features (bridge, tower, spire) that are on the patchbox, you'd have to imagine that the engraver of the patchbox was situated similar to where the guy who did the London Bridge image was. Which seems far-fetched.

Note that on the patchbox the "round spire 2 its left" is part of a wall, perhaps a city wall, of some sort--nothing like the free-standing tower in the image of London.

So if we think the engraver of the patchbox was trying to reproduce a scene that he actually saw, he wasn't depicting the scene in the London Bridge image.

Or at least that's how it looks to me.



I never suggested he had been there. But if he had there could be a wall  not visible in the picture
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 Buck

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #48 on: July 26, 2012, 02:52:45 AM »
It appears that the Gentleman on the Heel extension is of Scottish descent (notice the plad garb).  The bridge though it does resemble London Bridge also resembles the bridge at Stirling. The Butress between the 2 arches batters where the butresses on the London bridge remain strait. 
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 03:12:41 AM by buck »

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #49 on: July 26, 2012, 03:28:25 AM »
Anything that looks like that around the area of Herrnhut?

It looks to me like a representation of a hallowed location or an estate, with musicians taking the place of angels or cherubs.

Frankly, I don't think it's really productive to try to find an exact location that matches up with the image as per a photograph, as - much like the rest of the furniture engraving - it's likely meant to be viewed in the abstract or merely representative.

Meanwhile, we still have a boldly engraved name upon the lock:  J. Heinerrich Fessler.

One "Henrich Fesler" arrived in 1733 and a "Johan Heinrich Fessler" in 1766.  Both are reasonable targets, the first especially so.

Henrich Fessler arrived on the Samuel, was 50 years old with a 48 year old wife Maria and a 22 year old daughter Maria.  I can't immediately find out anything else about him.

Dave Madary sent me some information a while back regarding a Johan Henrich Fesler who was specifically noted as a "Buchsenmacher" in a 1712 court action in Wertheim.

Could these two be the same guy? 50 years old in 1733 means a birth in 1683, so he would be certainly old enough to be noted as gunmaker in 1712.  ***IF*** both were the same guy, the two really interesting questions then would be (1) how long did he live after 1733, and (2) just how early could this rifle be dated?

Let's say it was the same guy and he worked 10 years after arrival.  Could this rifle date to 1743?  Can were compare it to dated or similar German examples to decide?

The questions sure keep a'rollin.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 03:44:12 AM by Eric Kettenburg »
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!