Author Topic: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY  (Read 27956 times)

Online Stophel

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #50 on: July 26, 2012, 04:23:05 AM »
Stylistically, the gun could easily be 1740's.  Even earlier.  ;)
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 04:27:08 AM by Stophel »
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #51 on: July 26, 2012, 04:27:26 AM »
I was sure hoping you'd say that.
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Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #52 on: July 26, 2012, 04:40:01 AM »
Plenty of European guns are stocked in maple.

This gun has really classic Germanic cheekpiece, and sophisticated European style carving. Not folk-art American. Some of the executions are a little crude, but overall, far better executed than the engraving. The engraver knew what subjects were in vogue in Europe, but again, the execution is a little crude in both draftsmanship and line quality. Not from a highly practiced hand.

If made in the colonies, certainly the stocker had familiarity with European to know what subject matter was appropriate, and possessed a passing set of skills to accomplish this rifle. I would speculate that it's a Colonial re-stock of Germanic parts.

Speculation. There it is again.

T
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #53 on: July 26, 2012, 05:23:35 AM »
Quote
I would speculate that it's a Colonial re-stock of Germanic parts.

How then do you explain the box?  Unless, you mean that the lock/barrel/furnishings are German and the piece was stocked, carved *and engraved* here with those parts.  That I can see.  The furnishings - aside from the box - easily could be imports.
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #54 on: July 26, 2012, 06:07:04 AM »
That's what I want to know- if folks with better eyes than me sense that the furniture and box were or were not likely engraved by the same hand, and what draws them to their conclusion.  To me they are not, in that the other furniture is more or less engraved in common styles for rifles of the period, whereas the box engraving seems much more imaginative, with much more shading employed.
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Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #55 on: July 26, 2012, 03:41:16 PM »
EK, Furnishings could have been plain, off another gun, or imported plain. Engraved here.

Rich, I don't see the box as a different hand from the other parts. The borders are wobbly on all parts, the buttpiece is engraved to 'look like' high art engraving, but it's quite crude, esp in the shading. Same for the sideplate. Subject matter is right-on for the period, but the draftsmanship is wanting, and the shading is not regular or well practiced. It goes from shallow to deep with little rhyme or reason.

The box is again, certainly european influenced in its decoration. It's also the crown jewel of the gun, a canvas where personal subject matter can be employed. Again, it's crude, same unpracticed shading, crude draftsmanship, same wonky borders as BP and entry thimble. Since this piece is such a focal point, the artist lavished more time at it. More complex artwork, more imaginative imagery, but the hand didn't change, IMO. Maybe the box was in memory of his life on the Continent?

I don't remember seeing any castles in 1740 America, unless they were Iroquois or Seneca.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 03:42:44 PM by Acer Saccharum »
Tom Curran's web site : http://tcurran.com/

Offline rich pierce

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #56 on: July 26, 2012, 05:26:04 PM »
Good input from one who has spent some time and effort in engraving.  I need to look at these things more closely.  To me, undertaking engraving a scene seems quite ambitious, but I see what you're saying about the cuts.
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Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2012, 05:36:41 PM »
I agree on stocking here. Probably engraved here, because boxes such as this just were not seen in Europe. But the engraving is strongly Euro influenced, probably done by someone with classical training in areas of the gun trade, but probably not a trained engraver.

The engraving is pretty crude for pre-engraved hardware, most examples I have seen are VERY professional, even if they are simple, the confidence in the linework is astounding. The Music Rifle engraving is tentative, and speaks of a newbie, or someone who only dabbles in engraving. Does not have the concept shading down pat.

I'm just trying to get inside the head of the person who did this. I'm not bashing his work. It's a fabulous piece.

I'd love to see some full length, or lock to butt photos.
Tom Curran's web site : http://tcurran.com/

Offline spgordon

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2012, 05:44:07 PM »
Eric, I don't think that Herrnhut had city walls or tall towers or spires:

        

I would think that, if the images on the patchbox captured were "in memory of his life on the Continent," the engraver was recollecting a older German city with walls with turrets. Such as Rothenburg ...:

        

Scott
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 05:55:53 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 spgordon

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2012, 05:51:24 PM »
Rothenburg, by the way, was a large walled city:



It also had a famous bridge, which is visible above in the lower right corner. And does the lower part of the structure below, also in Rothenburg, resemble the structure on the patchbox?:



« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 05:56:18 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 rich pierce

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2012, 05:54:21 PM »
With a double tiered bridge (I can google too, lol)

St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #61 on: July 26, 2012, 06:03:48 PM »
Many bridges got blown up in WW2.

I just called the Landis Valley museum, and the Musician's rifle will be there until the end of the year. They are open on Mondays. I may stay over one more nite at Dixon's and go see the show.

Musician's rifle came to the show AFTER the book had been published, so it's not in print, and no photography is allowed. Sketchbooks permitted!

Quote
The museum is open daily. Hours are 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday and 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Sunday.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 06:04:27 PM by Acer Saccharum »
Tom Curran's web site : http://tcurran.com/

Offline spgordon

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #62 on: July 26, 2012, 06:14:02 PM »
I focused on Rothenburg only because we know that "the gunsmith from Rothenberg" was the major supplier of the rifles that Caspar Wistar imported in the 1730s and 1740s.

But the engraving could be of any number of walled German cities with turrets and towers and with a bridge--if it tries to depict an actual city.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 06:16:12 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

Online Stophel

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #63 on: July 26, 2012, 06:17:40 PM »
Why are we trying to pinpoint the location of the bridge anyway????  There were bridges, and walls and turrets and fortifications ALL OVER THE PLACE!  ;D

And it's very standard Baroque decoration.  Images like that are all over guns, paintings, and all kinds of decorative arts.  Printed material with these types of pictures was ubiquitous, to say the least!
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline spgordon

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #64 on: July 26, 2012, 06:29:50 PM »
Why are we trying to pinpoint the location of the bridge anyway????  There were bridges, and walls and turrets and fortifications ALL OVER THE PLACE!  ;D

And it's very standard Baroque decoration.  Images like that are all over guns, paintings, and all kinds of decorative arts.  Printed material with these types of pictures was ubiquitous, to say the least!

Very true. Such decorations may have been engraved to represent an actual place, but they may be just recognizable forms (turret, walls, tower, bridge) that signify "great city" or "court" or something equally abstract.

For what it's worth, I wasn't trying to pinpoint the location of the bridge. I only meant to suggest that the forms suggested a German city such as Rothenburg, with walls and turrets and towers and a bridge, than a community such as Herrnhut. We know that some such cities had gunsmiths known transatlantically.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 06:34:26 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

Online Stophel

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #65 on: July 26, 2012, 06:46:45 PM »
Herrnhut was basically a settlement on the land of Graf Zinzendorf, I believe.

Which brings up a different point.  Why is it that so much emphasis is on Moravians?  Sure, we all love the Moravian gunsmiths, and we like their records, but there were FAR FAR more German gunsmiths in PA that were Reformed!   :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 Acer Saccharum

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #66 on: July 26, 2012, 06:49:16 PM »
The 'castles' in North America were made of vertical logs.  ;D

I agree this could be a thematic representation rather than tied to an exact location.
The patchbox art could be a representation 'lifted' from an engraving seen in a book, a bible, perhaps.
Consider that years may have gone by since the artist had last seen the bridge and hometown..I know how memory plays tricks.
Gun raises more questions than answers.
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Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #67 on: July 26, 2012, 07:23:54 PM »
Quote
Gun raises more questions than answers.

Indeed.  And, since I've learned how to use the little quote symbol thingy, it's a lot of fun to quote Tom.  I try for one in every post.

Am I crazy, or would not the most straightforward approach to investigating the rifle be to attempt to dig further into Mr. J. Heinerrich Fesler? (Yes, there is an I or J under the cock preceding the Heinerrich).  The engraved name seems to be of similar quality to the brass engraving, as in crappy as Tom has described it hahahahahaha (ok just kidding Tom), so very possibly the same guy engraved both.  At least, there is no reason *not* to assume this, for now.  It doesn't necessarily mean he made the lock - which has a raised lip waterproof pan with a drain.  And because we are operating under the near-certainty (for the moment) that the box is American, thus everything must have been engraved here, very *possibly* the name on the lock is our man.  Maybe.  So, my first impression would be that the 1733 Henrich Fessler might bear some further investigation.  Unfortunately, I can't find anything valuable with a quick googling (how's that for a continued assault upon the beauty of the English language?  Tolkein would be spinning...).  I wonder what might be found concerning Herr Fesler in the archives at HSP?

If the lock on this gun were the A. Albrecht signed lock, how would we be viewing an attribution?  So maybe we should afford Buchsenmacher Fesler the same consideration... for the moment...
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #68 on: July 26, 2012, 07:27:44 PM »


Musician's rifle came to the show AFTER the book had been published, so it's not in print, and no photography is allowed. Sketchbooks permitted!

Quote
The museum is open daily. Hours are 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday and 12:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Sunday.

On picture taking. On Saturday, July 21, when Jim Lewars, the director of Landis Valley, was in the exhibit he was allowing people to take photographs. Some even used flash!  >:( Yes there is a sign when you enter the exhibit, "No photography allowed".  ???

Martin

Offline spgordon

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #69 on: July 26, 2012, 07:35:34 PM »
Landis Valley is itself trying to research Fesler, I was told last weekend, and they've turned something up (an immigration record, maybe?)--though this discovery may just reproduce what others already knew and that Eric has posted above.

HSP might contain in its vast papers something on Fesler, but sadly that is still a nineteenth-century institution as far as how users can know what HSP actually has: one still needs to search through an old card catalog, with hand-written cards from the nineteenth century, to find letters from so-and-so or to so-and-so that HSP possesses. There's no way to search their holdings by keyword or name, unless the keyword or name happens to have appeared in the old printed catalog that is online (and would be caught by google searches).
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 07:36:12 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 Waldmaus

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #70 on: July 26, 2012, 07:44:25 PM »
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. 

I mentioned this to several folks on Sunday, along with the "Green Man" thing, and expressed an opinon that perhaps the gun was a re-patriated Rev. war trophy...what with the hole in the bow of the trigger guard and all.
Also, saw several folks taking flash shots of the assembled guns ??? ??? Mebee thay was furiners, and kaint red ???
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #71 on: July 26, 2012, 08:59:10 PM »
If the lock on this gun were the A. Albrecht signed lock, how would we be viewing an attribution?  So maybe we should afford Buchsenmacher Fesler the same consideration... for the moment...

Agree, Fessler, Fesler is the best bet at the moment.  Given the brass box it's tough for me to see the rifle as pre-1750 though.  Seems to me that side-opening and front opening patchboxes could have developed around the same time, or at least a gunmaker would have been aware of the types of latches and closures and springs etc being used by others.  That's just a thought and not a very strong one, but I might expect it to date within 10 years of the Schroyer-attributed rifle with the rather complex box catch/release or RCA #42.
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Offline spgordon

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #72 on: July 26, 2012, 09:05:51 PM »
There's a Johann Henrich Fessler (born 1683--so would have been 50 in 1733--this is the fellow that EK pointed out earlier) on Ancestry.com. No further information on him is available there. But Ancestry.com does say (correctly or not, can't tell with that source) that his father's name was Albrecht Vessler. All this only to say that in trying to track down Fesler or Fessler it might be worth keeping Vessler in the mix as well.

Feather/Vetter are interchangeable, too, in mid eighteenth-century records in Pennsylvania, depending on whether an English speaker or German speaker was hearing/writing.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 09:06:29 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 Mike Brooks

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #73 on: July 26, 2012, 09:16:26 PM »
I don't recall seeing a full picture of this gun  before. Does anyone care to post some pics or send me some so I can contribute my useless opinion? :P
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Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: MUSICIAN"S RIFLE ON DISPLAY
« Reply #74 on: July 26, 2012, 10:13:40 PM »
Did you see Eric's link a page or two back. He has a collection on photobucket - not that it isn't easy to miss..just giving him props! ;D

http://s573.photobucket.com/albums/ss172/moldyoak/
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 10:15:57 PM by Dr. Tim-Boone »
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