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| | |-+  Art Holly made flintlock information needed.
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Author Topic: Art Holly made flintlock information needed.  (Read 2330 times)
Doug Strong
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« on: August 16, 2012, 09:01:51 PM »

My buddy dropped off his Art Holly made North Carolina style Kentucky Long Rifle. It is a really beautiful rifle. As I understand it Art Holly copied this from one in a museum in North Carolina and made it for an older gentleman in Kentucky. In about 1979 as that Kentuckian was getting on in years he sold it to my friend. I know enough about it that I can tell it is in perfect working order. However, that is were my knowledge ends.

Details:
45 caliber
42 inch barrel
58 inches overall
Greenish tint to the wood.
Barrel is straight rather than swamped as far as I know.

Can you tell me more about it? My firend wants to sell it but I have no idea what it might be worth.
I would like to help him out since he is putting the money back into founding a birds of prey group for hawks and falcons and the like. http://www.internationalheritageconservancy.org/

You are welcome to email me at doug-strong(at)comcast(dot)net

Here are some really large photos.

http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly1.JPG
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly2.JPG
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly3.JPG
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly4.JPG
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly5.JPG
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly6.JPG
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly7.JPG
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly8.JPG
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly9.JPG
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/Guns/Art%20Holly10.JPG
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Majorjoel
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 04:59:23 PM »

Hi Doug and welcome to American Longrifles. Art Holly was one of the early contemporary gun builders and teacher who brought several talented longrifle builders into the fold of this craft. He worked for a time in California and many years in Michigan. I have seen quite a few of his rifles and pistols over the years and have owned a couple of them. Pictured here is one of his "York" Pa rifles in 45 caliber and a 36 caliber southern poor boy squirrel rifle that he built for a friend of mine in 1949. I was told that Mr. Holly passed away in the late 60's, but would find it interesting if he lived on into the 1970's. His workmanship was very good considering he had to make everything from scratch with exception of gun barrels. By todays standards I would say he would barely make honorable mention in the judging at Dixon's fair.    
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Joel Hall
Sequatchie Rifle
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 10:09:22 AM »

I had one of his iron-mounted E. Tenn style rifles in .32 cal with a 42 inch barrel and stocked in cherry.  The stock had turned green due, I believe, to the use of chromic acid in is staining process.  I sold it on gunbroker after refinishing it.  I believe it brought $550 after fees.
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"We fight not for glory, nor riches nor honors, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life. Declaration of Arbroath, 1320
JDK
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 12:18:06 PM »

One of the first things I noticed about the rifle Mr. Strong posted is it appears to me that it has this same "green" tint.  J.D.
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J.D. Kerstetter
JCKelly
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 08:38:39 PM »

I met Mr. Holly in Holly, Michigan 1973. Bought some old parts from him.

The green tint is because it used to be popular to use potassium chromate for a stock stain. Initially it makes a nice dark reddish color. With time, as all you chemists know, that carcinogenic hexavalent chromium ion oxidizes the wood a bit & becomes reduced to nice safe trivalent chromium.
Huh?
Green. The finish turns green with age.
The green color in house paint is chromium oxide, Cr2O3
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Mike Brooks
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 10:28:17 AM »

Green guns don't sell well, just an observation.
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Doug Strong
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2012, 11:24:06 AM »

This has all been very helpful. I have to break the news to my friend that his gun may not be worth much at all.
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Doug Strong
Guest
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2012, 11:26:24 AM »

By the way is there any way to remove the greenish cast to the wood? It has beautiful figuring and depth in it.
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T*O*F
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2012, 01:38:57 PM »

Quote
By the way is there any way to remove the greenish cast to the wood?
The gun has other problems besides the greenish cast.  It is best left for what it is.  There is nothing to be gained by attempting any changes.  Comparing this gun and the others pictured, it is probably one of his early guns made before he became more adept at making them.
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A dedicated person with just a pocketknife can accomplish more than a lazy person with an entire toolbox.
Mike Brooks
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2012, 06:48:43 PM »

This has all been very helpful. I have to break the news to my friend that his gun may not be worth much at all.
Oh, I think it's probably worth some money, but not multiple thousands. There are guys out there that are starting to collect some of these early "revival" pieces.
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t.caster
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 08:08:12 PM »

A friend of mine picked up a pair of Holly rifles in a local gun auction over the weekend.  A fancy .54 flint plains rifle with lots of silver animal inlets and a silver and brass patchbox shaped like a bull elk.
The other a .50 cal swivel breech flinter, that was rather plane but well made, and I am sure he built the action all himself in those days. Both had Bill Large barrels.
A third rifle was by D. King, made in 1968 and ornate silver inlays from stem to stern. An incredible longrifle, that was never fired and some of the best inletting I have ever seen. No gaps or raised edges after all these years, and everything was nicely hand engraved. I wish I had my camera with me!
I should add: Art Holly was from the Lansing, Mi area and trained Jack Gee and his cousin Forgy Parks back in their youth. Jack was a "Master" builder who started the Michigan LongrifleSmith Guild, which I was involved in. Jack was a very decorated shooter and judged at Dixon's Far for several years. They always say what a tough Master Art was, making them do things over and over till he thought it was RIGHT! There are a LOT of his rifles around the midwest.
 
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Tom C.
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2012, 01:35:12 PM »

have seen several of these older green guns at shows.  just for my education, is there a straightforward way to get rid of the green ?  does it penetrate deeply? 
have often wondered how hard it would be to re do one of these guns.
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t.caster
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2012, 12:50:11 PM »

When I first started working with Jack Gee, he was using "Magic Maple" stain (potassium chromate)discussed earlier by JCKelly. I used it ONCE ONLY because of the green tint, and Jack finally stopped using it too. It is applied similar to aquafortis and needs to be neutralized. Like AF, it penetrates quite deep. About half the Holly rifles I have seen had that green tint. Hey I even worked on a Jud Brennan rifle once for a clubmember, that had a very green tint.
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Tom C.
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