Author Topic: Germanic symbol cheek pieces  (Read 29107 times)

Offline Shreckmeister

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Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« on: January 07, 2014, 05:35:05 PM »
   Wm Shreckengost used variations of the first cheekpiece photo on most of his rifles.
I am finding other rifles with variations of this symbol made by other gunsmiths as in the
second and third picture.  Does anyone know what this symbolizes?  A bird perhaps?





« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 05:36:27 PM by Shreckmeister »
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 Shreckmeister

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 05:55:57 PM »
Also, if anyone has photos of similar symbols could you please post them and
identify the maker of that rifle.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 05:56:17 PM by Shreckmeister »
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 Hurricane ( of Virginia)

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 07:14:33 PM »
Lorentz Kafka of KRA is noted for his work on symbolism related to Kentucky Rifles. If you contact him, we would love to know what he has to say.

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 07:36:51 PM »
Here's another one from a Shreck that is a bit different than his others.



There are at least 3 different examples in Wm Shreckengost's templates shown here

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=12919.0


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 Hungry Horse

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 08:23:40 PM »
Schreck;

  For some unknown reason my server won't recognize your e-mail address.
  Did any of your relatives use brass triggers? This long rifle has a brass single trigger with a very fancy pierced gusset on the back side. The triggerguard is exactly like the one on the fancy Kuntz rifle so often pictured. The patchbox, and all the inlays, are attached with small brass nails. The engraving is done with the finest line graver i've ever seen on a longrifle, but sadly not the quality of Jacob, and Peter, Kuntz. The engraving rarely flares on sweeping curves, and utilizes many small accent cuts, and some crude crosshatching. I'll keep trying to get you some pictures.

           Hungry Horse

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 09:10:10 PM »
HH,  I've not seen a brass trigger on their rifles.  Seems like a very strange material to use for
a trigger.  Your rifle sounds very interesting.  If your email is in the profile, I will send you one and
maybe a reply will go better.
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 Hungry Horse

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 09:14:43 PM »
Schreck;

  Yes, my e-mail is on the profile. That might just work. It kinda like jiggling the handle, only on a computer. TTYL.

            HH ( not Hershel House, the other one)

Offline Waldmaus

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 05:38:45 AM »
Mr. Meister,
  Butch said it's a moustache ::) ::)
  My gut feeling is that the image is simply Fraktur interpretation of ... something ??? ???
  So, I feel comfortable with the moustache idea ;D
                             Peace Out....Shreck ( NOT Meister )
" Ever notice how a banana gets all soft, mushy, thin-skinned, covered with spots, and, becomes tasteless when it is over the hill? They are just like people! "
from Poor Pat's Ponderings...Ramblings of an Untrained Mind, August 2017

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 03:18:43 PM »
Well given that Butch is the gggg grandson of Westmoreland Cty gunsmith George Smith, that gives
credence to that. :o
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 Hungry Horse

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 05:45:51 PM »
 A similar inlay is sometimes seen under the cheekpiece on Bedford, and Somerset, County rifles. But, because these are all very stylized, its hard to determine exactly what they represent.

 Schreck; The e-mail didn't come through. I even checked my junk mail to see if the spam filter was the culprit. it appears my e-mail server just doesn't acknowledge yours exists.

                        Hungry Horse

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2014, 06:03:32 PM »
HH    will send one from another email.  Thanks
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 Dphariss

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2014, 07:41:16 PM »
Many of these inlays on later guns were bought from the same suppliers they got locks and other hardware from. Catalogs were full of locks, inlays and patch/cap boxes well after the Civil War.
As a result I would hesitate to ascribe any particular significance on the shape.
Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2014, 08:02:58 PM »
Why does it have to mean anything?  In my view it's just an ornamental design loosely based on scroll and leafage plant forms.  You will see many inlay forms during the percussion in which the designs may have been more formal at some point, but then degraded over time to shapes that don't seem to make a whole lot of sense.  I think this symbolism thing can be taken a little too far at times.

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 09:49:04 PM »
It doesn't have to mean anything, but it could.  So your assessment is that it is a plant/leaf.
I think you may be right about that.  Which plant is it?  The question is why is this plant
on  many longrifles, each one being a little different?  Why did all these gunsmiths want a similar plant
on their rifles?  I think there was a reason.   Likewise, I have heard the symbolism thing taken too far.
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 Dphariss

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 01:41:45 AM »
It doesn't have to mean anything, but it could.  So your assessment is that it is a plant/leaf.
I think you may be right about that.  Which plant is it?  The question is why is this plant
on  many longrifles, each one being a little different?  Why did all these gunsmiths want a similar plant
on their rifles?  I think there was a reason.   Likewise, I have heard the symbolism thing taken too far.

Let me clarify here.
Its STYLIZED decoration, decoration. Wondering what plant it based on is an exercise in futility since its simply decoration that someone thought looked good. For all we know they were stamped out in shop in Birmingham, England designed and cut out by people who had not idea how to stock a firearm or even how to install the inlay. And from looking at some examples did not even have significant artistic ability.


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

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2014, 01:43:09 AM »
And many were purchased already engraved.

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

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2014, 05:16:56 AM »
Dan,  I disagree with your premise that ALL these inlays were mass produced.  Proof that this is NOT the case is
right here in the library under "tools of a gunsmith".  Wm. Shreckengost's vast array of inlay templates are intact to this day
in a local collection and the cardboard they were cut from shows the partial name of a local hardware store here
in western PA.  In other words he repurposed the hardware store boxes to make his templates.
 I find it hard to grasp how I can spend my time
tracking down things to post on this forum for guys to learn from and
have guys look at them and refuse to acknowledge what they are seeing.
  You don't need a template if you are buying them already cut out.
As for already engraved, this is also not the case.  I won't bother with the electron microscope to prove that the
gravers and shaders were used on his guns and no others.  It's clearly his hand on all his rifles.
    Yes, there were mass produced inlays on later rifles, but the examples I provided were not.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 05:19:21 AM by Shreckmeister »
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 Acer Saccharum

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2014, 07:01:52 AM »
I like all of the illustrated inlays so far. I disagree  that there is no artistry in them. I opine these are not mass produced. They are all variations on a common theme, from simple to ornate.
Tom Curran's web site : http://tcurran.com/

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2014, 05:33:14 PM »
These designs look very architectural to me. I would suggest that the design itself was probably influenced by historical  use of space in architecture....and for this reason the meaning or symbolism is more easily lost in an application like on a longrifle...especially to those looking at it a couple centuries later.

Here is a statement from  Line and Form by Crane:
"Now, if we seek further the meaning and origin of this necessity of the control of geometric lines and spaces in design, I think we shall find it in the constructive necessities of architecture: for it is certainly from architecture that we derive those typical spaces and panels the designer is so often called upon to fill."
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 05:48:45 PM by vtbuck223 »

Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2014, 05:50:38 PM »
This stuff is no different than any other decoration and ornament found on the longrifle.  Don't over think things.  Whatever you want to call it....  Folk art versions of baroque and rococo designs, stylized plant forms etc.  Sure it's hard to argue that a fish or a star doesn't have some symbolic meaning, but this sort of stuff is completely different in my view.  These examples in particular are pretty decent for the time period, but it's still good to keep the nature of this work in perspective.

Offline Buck

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2014, 06:19:46 PM »
Jim,
I would agree to a point that it is repetitive décor, but the original Baroque and Rococo forms were interpretive of earlier symbolic forms. I think that it is often forgotten that symbolism or symbols were a form of communication for the common people, only the Church and Aristocracy were Literate. Most often symbolism has the eternal Secret Society governmental conspiracy mystique label, it was a simple form of communication. vtbuck223 put it nicely.
Buck   

Offline Waldmaus

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2014, 08:26:17 PM »
HH,
  Thank you ;D
  Since " named " rifles are usually of the feminine variety, that explanation makes sense...except maybe " Old Tick Licker "...but then again ???
  But, I digress.  I am sure that somewhere along the way there was inherent symbolism associated with all decoration of firearms, furniture, etc.  Not only do we now ask, " How did they do that? ", but, " Why did they do that? "
  Perhaps we ask too much ??? ::)
                          Peace Out...Shreck ( NOT Meister )
" Ever notice how a banana gets all soft, mushy, thin-skinned, covered with spots, and, becomes tasteless when it is over the hill? They are just like people! "
from Poor Pat's Ponderings...Ramblings of an Untrained Mind, August 2017

Offline James Rogers

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2014, 08:52:40 PM »
And then a lot of this "history" can just as easily be made up on the fly by some old horndog with an interest in old guns. ;D

Offline Mark Elliott

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2014, 11:16:27 PM »
I checked my notes from Lorentz Kafka and the cheek pieces in question appear to be a stylized version of a couple similar Germanic symbols that represent both rebirth in Christ and the Risen Son of God.   Of course, Germans, being an earthy bunch, a lot of religious symbols representing life or rebirth derive from human reproductive anatomy.   I guess your interpretation of the symbols depends on how far your mind is from the earthly.    How is that for a political answer to your question.  ;)

Offline Mark Elliott

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Re: Germanic symbol cheek pieces
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2014, 11:31:22 PM »
Below is a link to a .pdf of notes I took many years ago at a Dixon seminar given by Lorentz Kafka.    When I saw the seminar on the list, I thought it was a joke and had no intention to attend.  However,  I just happened to take a break in the main tent when Lorentz was starting his seminar.   I quickly realized that he was dead serious and obviously very well informed and educated.   My understanding is that he was/if a college professor.   Here are my notes for what they are worth.   I was only able to copy down a fraction of what he said. 

http://markelliottva.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/symbols4.pdf