Author Topic: signed vs unsigned value  (Read 15271 times)

Offline Brent English

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signed vs unsigned value
« on: August 18, 2015, 04:49:20 AM »
Hi.  I'm considering purchasing a smooth rifle or "buck and ball" attributed to George Shroyer.  I have no problem with the attribution.  Gun is original flint and the lock, carving and architecture clearly matches other Shroyer documented pieces.  Gun is in the possession of respected collector and I've bought other items from him.  So no problem there.  Question is: what effect do you all see on value of the gun since it is unsigned.  Thanks for your input.
Done right is better than done fast.

Offline heinz

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 06:02:17 AM »
When you have a gun by a maker who signed his work over a long period of time, you will always be explaining that yours is unsigned.
kind regards, heinz

Offline Avlrc

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 06:53:38 AM »
I think if it is a real killer it does not affect value all that much. But on average rifles, I think it makes a lot of difference in value. However I never really thought all that much about value when I wanted a rifle. Over the last couple years I sold all of my unsigned rifles but one. I got tired of trying to convince my self that they  was made by  such  & such maker. Buy it, when you acquire  a signed one,  sell it, that is what I have done.

Offline Molly

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 03:16:45 PM »
Interesting topic.  I recently spoke to what may be one of the most widely recognized authorities in the field.  His take and the discussion introduced me to ways unsigned works are supposed to be "authenticated".  Some experts appear to know more about some makers than others as well but it seems among the authorities a general consensus can be achieved as to the maker.  But there still remains somewhat of a fog.  The signature removes it.  But then you always have the question of the barrel signature being original to the rest of the work.  I have seen that pop up recently in some auctions.  In the end if a buyer is comfortable with the work my feeling is that the signature does not matter a lot so the question becomes how much does the buyer actually know.  You sound certain in your original question and that being the case, I would say it should make no difference to you now.  At a point where it may change hands others may not feel the same and then, it might matter a great deal.

Online rich pierce

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 03:20:40 PM »
Buck and ball guns usually being plainer and not having the same mystique as rifles will normally be quite a bit lower in price than a fully appointed rifle by the same maker in the same timeframe.  Not so many buck and ball guns are signed.  I'd not look to what signed rifles by the attributed maker are going for.
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Offline Avlrc

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 03:56:22 PM »
Interesting topic.  I recently spoke to what may be one of the most widely recognized authorities in the field.  His take and the discussion introduced me to ways unsigned works are supposed to be "authenticated".  Some experts appear to know more about some makers than others as well but it seems among the authorities a general consensus can be achieved as to the maker.  But there still remains somewhat of a fog.  The signature removes it.  But then you always have the question of the barrel signature being original to the rest of the work.  I have seen that pop up recently in some auctions.  In the end if a buyer is comfortable with the work my feeling is that the signature does not matter a lot so the question becomes how much does the buyer actually know.  You sound certain in your original question and that being the case, I would say it should make no difference to you now.  At a point where it may change hands others may not feel the same and then, it might matter a great deal.

The last sentence says a lot.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 05:13:49 PM »
Re:  the last post....that may explain how some have mysteriously acquired "signatures" over time  :o

Offline JTR

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 08:26:27 PM »
Re:  the last post....that may explain how some have mysteriously acquired "signatures" over time  :o

Bob,
I'd be really interested to see pictures of the ones you mention that have mysteriously acquired signatures!

I've heard that myself a few times but never seen one, so it'll be great to see the actual proof you have!!!

Thanks, John
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 09:26:27 PM by JTR »
John Robbins

Offline jdm

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 11:48:07 PM »
How often does one get a chance at a carved George Shroyer?
JIM

Offline bama

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2015, 11:50:52 PM »
I looked at a unsigned Shroyer about four years ago at the KRA show. It was in great rifle in good shape, well carved, no box as I recall and I am not sure if it was rifled. It was selling at what I thought was a reasonalbe price so I looked really hard at it. I think there are more bogas signatures out there than some would care to admit. It is fairly easy for a signature to be added to a rifle. It is very hard to duplicate a building process. Each builder had their own way of doing things and tools to do them. If you look at the building technique and methods, tool marks, carving style, metal finish, it is fairly easy to attribute an unsigned rifle if you have examples to go by. With Schroyer having many rifles out there and well published it should be fairly easy to attribute the rifle or smooth bore. I was fairy comforatble that the gun I was looking at was a Schroyer but unfortunately I was unable to get the gun. One of those things that I still kick myself in the backside over.

Collectors like a signature and I am no different, but a well made gun that has those tell tale signs of a signed gun is also good in my book. As far as how it affects the price, this gun that I looked at was probably about $35,000 + cheaper than a signed Schroyer at that same show. Now if the gun had a patch box I am sure it would have been more but still well below the signed rifle.
Jim Parker

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Offline louieparker

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2015, 02:25:57 AM »
Brent
We all like to see a great signature.. But there are other ways of signing a rifle.. The finer makers sign them all over.. We don't have to see a signature to identify their work.  I certainly wouldn't pass up a fine rifle because it wasn't signed. How much is a signature worth ?  I can't answer that for others.. But speaking for myself, if I was looking for a Schroyer I certainnly wouldn't pass it up for lack of a signature..   If I am correct the rifle you are looking at is in the North Centrl part of the country.. I for one like it a lot.   LP

Offline GrampaJack

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2015, 02:54:49 AM »
Probably 30 years ago me and my "friends" were doing the "gun show shuffle" around OGCA. We came upon a table full of WWII trench guns. You know, the shotguns with hand protectors and short barrels. Nothing that we were interested in but we stopped to look. One was a Winchester that was in perfect condition. I asked the guy "Is that stamped U.S. on the other side of the receiver?"  He said "Not Yet". Always thought that said volumes.  As to signed/unsigned guns, I was once given the advice -"if you don't spend more than you are willing to loose you will be ok". I have not bought many unsigned attributed guns but that bit of advice has served me well.  Jack

Offline Brent English

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2015, 04:25:12 AM »
Thanks for all your input.  I think "Bama" and Louieparker have both seen the gun in question.  Guess I'll have to pull the trigger (in a manner of speaking).  First time I've spent that kind of money on a gun, but I'm a lot more comfortable having read all the comments.  Brent
Done right is better than done fast.

Offline JTR

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2015, 06:04:40 AM »
Sound like Louie has seen it for sure, and if he and Jim think its a good one, it most likely is a Good one!
John
John Robbins

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2015, 11:47:09 PM »
Today it appears that the pedigree of the present owner trying to sell the rifle is more important than the pedigree of the rifle. Wasn't that way back when !

4th. La.

Offline WElliott

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2015, 05:52:52 AM »
Years ago, I owned an unsigned rifle as to which there was absolutely no question as to the maker. After owning it several years, I traded it away. When I happened to see it several years later, it had mysteriously acquired a maker's signature. That forged signature hurt the collector value of that rifle, in my opinion, although the attribution was correct. I agree with Louie that sometimes the maker's "signature" is all over a rifle, although not in writing. In some ways, that is preferable 
« Last Edit: August 23, 2015, 05:54:07 AM by WElliott »
Wayne Elliott

Offline Avlrc

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2015, 04:54:56 PM »
Years ago, I owned an unsigned rifle as to which there was absolutely no question as to the maker. After owning it several years, I traded it away. When I happened to see it several years later, it had mysteriously acquired a maker's signature. That forged signature hurt the collector value of that rifle, in my opinion, although the attribution was correct. I agree with Louie that sometimes the maker's "signature" is all over a rifle, although not in writing. In some ways, that is preferable 

That rifle reminds me of deer & fish I  have taken, they seem to get better with time. Especially when I relate the experience to others.  ;D

Offline Hurricane ( of Virginia)

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2015, 08:32:33 PM »
Always an enlightening discussion, however the dollar value ($$$) always comes down to the seller, the potential buyer and a multitude of  changing "circumstance" often undisclosed.
Hurricane

Offline Molly

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2015, 02:42:00 AM »
HIB has nailed it (again).  A multitude of circumstances really rings the bell.  Even the same firearm can produce vastly different sales results under different or even similar circumstances.  I'll never be an artisan.  And I'll never be more that dangerous when it comes to authentic firearms.  But I am trying to get a handle of the broader firearms market.  So far about all I can safely say is that the height, depth, width and length of the antique arms market knows no bounds and is almost beyond characterization.

Offline Brent English

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2016, 04:35:32 AM »
Some you who were kind enough to chime in on this discussion from a few months past might want to see pictures of the gun that inspired the topic (hope I got this right, first time for pictures for me on this forum:

















Done right is better than done fast.

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2016, 04:48:29 AM »
Yowza!!
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 crankshaft

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2016, 06:08:09 AM »

 The obvious question, when a maker signed his work, why didn't he sign all of them ? ?

Offline bama

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2016, 06:15:50 AM »
It's been 4 years but I believe that is the same gun I looked at. You just started me kicking myself all over again. :-\ I think you made a great choice, enjoy it my friend.
Jim Parker

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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2016, 03:24:06 PM »
That's a really super gun. Congrats on your decision to acquire it.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Big Wolf

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Re: signed vs unsigned value
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2016, 03:42:11 PM »
That is a very nice gun, and the original unmessed with surface is how you like to see them.