Author Topic: A rifle by A. Bonnet  (Read 1700 times)

Offline Brooks

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A rifle by A. Bonnet
« on: July 17, 2017, 05:18:52 AM »
I picked up this rifle in a trade. It's marked on the top flat A. Bonnet. The bottom flat is marked 1866. It's also marked with the #24 on the bottom of the barrel and breech plug. Any information will be appreciated.






Offline Mark Tyler

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 06:20:25 AM »
Anthony Bonnett (1835-1907) 
Gunsmith and Violin Maker
Clarion and Brookville, PA

Offline The Rambling Historian

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 04:30:08 PM »
Guns an violins? Interesting combination. I suppose both require similar skills.
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Offline Mark Tyler

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 04:46:56 PM »
http://www.tombstonehopper.com/html/jul2005.html

Also see Russell Harriger's book Longrifles of Pennsylvania, Jefferson, Clarion and Elk Counties.

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 07:17:52 PM »
That's a nice looking example of his work.  Do I see a name on the brass sideplate?  I am thinking from later in his career.  Second rifle
I have seen marked A Bonnet that has the patent breech forged by Wm Shreckengost but this one has engraving also that looks like
early Shreckengost.  Further support for their relationship.  Is the signature stamped or script?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 07:20:20 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 Lucky R A

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 07:48:18 PM »
    There is some real collector interest in Bonnet's guns locally.  A number of the members of the Jefferson Co. Longrifles club own a number of them.  In Russ Harriger's book there is a lot of Bonnet's business papers and a list of many of the original owners based on the number of the rifle.  Your rifle was originally built for Wlm. Bowley, and was sold on Nov. 26th 1883 for $23.00.  This would put it in the high middle range of the price structure of Abraham's guns.   
Hope this helps
Ron
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Offline Brooks

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 08:18:51 PM »
Thank for the info. The name A. Bonnet is in script. There is a name on the plate on the stock. Hard to make out, but you can see on the lower part of the plate it says Marrila.

Offline Spinner

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 08:42:25 PM »
Last year we (Jefferson County Historical Society) featured an exhibit showcasing Jefferson County (PA) gunsmiths. We featured several gun and violin makers including Anthony Bonnett and Daniel Long. We had examples of Bonnett's rifles, violins and calligraphy.  We recently acquired a painting by Bonnett, which we are scheduling to have restored.

Sometime later this year we are going to revise a carpenter shop that is part of our national award winning "Living on the Land" exhibit. We will turn it into a gunsmith shop and feature local rifles and violins. We will include Bonnett's work,  gunsmith, John Showalter's gunsmithing tools, and Daniel Long's violin tools.

Always nice to see further examples of Anthony Bonnett's work.
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Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2017, 11:33:57 PM »
Could you post a photo of the signature?  I wonder if it will match another script signature of his?



« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 11:36:35 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 Brooks

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 03:15:06 AM »
Here's a pic of the name on the barrel.


Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 04:27:13 PM »
I think it's by the same hand and likely Wm Shreckengost engraved it.  Perhaps Bonnet was apprenticing for him.  Certain elements
of the rifle suggest that, particularly the hand forged patent breech which is a signature of Shreck.  Funny that it went from
Bonnett to Bonnet or vice versa.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 10:29:51 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 Brooks

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2017, 07:06:51 AM »
A couple more pics. The rear sight is missing it's ladder. A few inches in front of the rear sight is a dovetail that has been filled. In front of that is a small hole not very deep maybe 1/8. Any ideas on what that might be for? The muzzle has been engraved.
Thanks Again for all the info.

Marc Brooks.










Offline Brooks

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2017, 09:07:49 AM »
I know I'm not supposed to ask, but what is the middle of the high price bracket for this rifle?

Offline Lucky R A

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2017, 01:38:05 PM »
       It would guess that the adjustable rear sight is a replacement, as is the front sight.  Marble sights were often used on these guns.  I have seen them on Burkett and Harriger rifles built the Brookville area.   The sight extending over the engraved name would have been avoided if the sight was originally installed by Bonnet.   I have seen this situation on a number of later guns like this.  What is the condition of the bore in your rifle?   From what I see in the photo it looks neglected.   Just speculating if the gun had been used during the early muzzle loading revival. 
       Price is very subjective, if a couple of  members of the family who originally owned were bidding for it the price could go high.  Otherwise it would fall into the high end of normal half stock percussion guns of the late 1800s.
"The highest reward that God gives us for good work is the ability to do better work."  - Elbert Hubbard

Offline Brooks

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2017, 02:21:54 AM »
Thanks everyone for all the info. I did have one other question. The rifle has a crack in the stock.
Should the crack be fixed or stabilized or left alone? The crack runs through both sides of the stock.
I have no intentions of shooting this rifle, but I would like to make sure such a rifle will last for further generations.

Marc Brooks.






Offline JTR

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2017, 02:09:43 AM »
That type of crack should be fixed securely. An accidental small bang, bump or thump into some other object, and you'll end up with a two piece rifle. As is, its best stored laid flat. Or if it has to be on end, muzzle down.
That break looks fresh with little loss of wood, and is an easy fix for someone that does that sort of thing.

Keep in mind that easy doesn't necessarily mean inexpensive....

John
John Robbins

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: A rifle by A. Bonnet
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2017, 02:53:23 AM »
Well rifle #3 that looks like a shreckengost product but is signed A Bonnett. This one has a Shreckengost Patchbox from the template collection. Evidence of having had a patent breech. Shreckengost barrel engraving and a very interesting wrist repair






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.