Author Topic: Jacob Dickert rifle  (Read 1309 times)

Offline Dave Fox

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Jacob Dickert rifle
« on: October 11, 2017, 08:52:56 PM »
This Jacob Dickert (1740 - 1822) Lancaster rifle walked into my office about thirty years ago, 75 miles from King's Mountain battlefield where it may have participated. It was in partial condition with the original lock percussioned. I passed it on to a talented friend who restored it. The barrel appears original 42" length and .50 calibre. The bore is in surprisingly good condition. It is fired occasionally and is satisfyingly accurate.



« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 08:58:20 PM by Dave Fox »

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 09:22:53 PM »
Thanks for joining this board.  It would be interesting to see more photos which may alter my initial opinion.

No personal offense intended but that very definitely looks like a modern restock of an old barrel.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 09:23:23 PM by Eric Kettenburg »

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 09:25:16 PM »
That is just fantastic.  Fan-tastic.  More pix please.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 10:21:05 PM »
Yes it may indeed be fantastic.  The photo posted is creating the appearance of a fairly new piece, and without knowing what exactly was done or if refinished or ??? it seems - to me - to be quite difficult to know exactly what I'm looking at.

Offline Bigmon

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 01:45:12 AM »
Appears as the restoration included a complete stock, or nearly so.
Or maybe a complete refinishing?
More photos please, it looks great.
What is that lock, looks a little late?
Finally, you are shooting that?? That is great.

My remarks are not meant as doubting, but as questions.  I am envious of your luck in finding such a prize.
It's just that we all really love these old rifles.
Thanks for posting.
Regards

Offline smart dog

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 02:48:16 AM »
The wide lock panels are a dead giveaway that it is not a stock by Dickert and any early Lancaster maker.

dave
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Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 03:37:49 AM »
Trolling trolling trolling, keep them doggies trolling.  Anxious to watch this topic roll out.
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 Dave Fox

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 03:55:49 AM »
My original post recited the rifle to be in "partial condition". The owner who brought it to me had barrel, lock and some hardware slapped into a plank. Stock is, as perceived, new, if thirty years can so be termed.

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2017, 03:56:48 AM »
Thanks for clarifying that.

Offline Bigmon

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 04:15:49 AM »
Thats a great barrel !!

Offline spgordon

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2017, 05:45:37 PM »
Is there a way to decipher (or have you deciphered) the full signature on the barrel? I can see the "Dickert" clearly. But does it seem to say "Jacob"? Or a "J" with a symbol of sorts and then the "Dickert"? Nothing after the "Dickert"--a symbol or "Gill"?

Scott

Offline Dave Fox

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 07:37:32 PM »
My apologies for not being clearer, something I regrettably sacrificed originally to be concise. This piece came out of the woodwork here in western North Carolina. The owner had undertaken one of those infamous jackleg "restorations". He'd tossed the wood, misplaced much of the hardware, and brought the rest to me, hearing I was interested in such things. I passed it on to a friend, the present owner, who restocked and reconverted it. I had it recently to use as show and tell in a couple talks on King's Mountain.  The signature reads "J  Dickert" in script. The inadequacy of my photographic abilities is painfully evident.

Offline JTR

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 08:17:38 PM »
The owner had undertaken one of those infamous jackleg "restorations". He'd tossed the wood, misplaced much of the hardware,,,,

Well that's a shame.
Given the time period the gun was originally made, early, or late for Dickert, even in pretty raggedy condition, it could have been worth several thousand $$$$, to many thousands $$$$$..... As is, I don't see much there that is attributable to Dickert except the barrel, and an okay signature J Dickert barrel is worth say $300 to $500, if it's full length and has the cartouche between the J and the D.....

Any chance of asking the jacklegger, if there was any carving on the original stock? Any pictures of it?

As a last thought, you might want to compare that barrel signature to other known Dickert signatures. I've never seen one with the flourish under the Dickert like this one has... But I haven't seen them all either....
John
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 12:35:16 AM by Ky-Flinter »
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Offline Bigmon

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2017, 09:56:33 PM »
It is still an historic treasure.
Just not as big a treasure as it could have been.
They ain't making that stuff anymore, at least I hope not.

Offline wormey

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2017, 10:13:00 PM »
The barrel is just over 40 inches and is original length as is the breech plug and tang.  The bore is original as is the lock.  It had been converted to percussion.  The flint hammer, frizzen, frizzen spring and pan are replacements.  All the internals including the mainspring are original.  The initials on the lock plate are faint, but are there.  Don`t ask me how I know all this and no....I was not the "jackleg" who lost all the original parts.  By the way, the sideplate and one of the locknails is original too!  wormey

Offline Bigmon

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2017, 10:31:16 PM »
PLEASE, more photos of those items you mention as original.  If at all possible.
Thanks

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2017, 11:20:43 PM »
The Pickens County historical museum has. A Dickert rifle that if I remember correctly has The same signature as yours.
Dennis
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Offline Don Stith

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2017, 01:59:05 AM »
Since Dickert made a number of rifles to fill government contracts, I would love to know what the original patchbox looked like, assuming it had one.  If at KIngs Mountain, I would expect it to be a contract rifle rather than a fancy civilian piece

Offline wormey

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2017, 03:07:34 AM »
Don, why would you expect a contract piece at Kings Men.?  That battle was fought on Oct. 7, 1780.  The mountaineers numbered several hundred augmented my several hundreds more from Wilkes and Surry Counties.  The also picked up significant numbers from South Carolina and Georgia when near the cowpens in South Carolina.  Most belonged to a militia of some sorts and recognized officers with authority, but were not trained soldiers of any sorts.  They were individuals first and foremost.  Lyman Draper in his book Kings Mountain and Its Heroes asserts that many of the "Overmountain men" carried "Deccard" rifles.  I believe his work was well known and celebrated at the time, but I don`t think he had expanded his works to a great extent by 1780.  I know he built a barrel mill on a creek for the express purpose of providing barrels for himself and the trade in Lancaster, but that all came later.

I have always lived within 50 miles or so of the battlefield and have visited it countless times.  I have always been intrigued by the battle itself as well as the participants.  I consider myself blessed to have at least a part of a rifle that was at the battle.  Never having the possibility of owning a real Ferguson Rifle I built one from a Rifle Shoppe kit....and yes I am aware that all the experts declare positively that there were no Ferguson Rifles at the battle, but I happen to agree with Earl Lanning that there is good evidence that there were indeed several there, perhaps as many as 15 or 20.  I believe Brian Brown and Ricky Roberts also believe they were there.  They provide some evidence in their boon "Every Insult and Indignity".
Anyway, back to my original question; most of the overmountain men were frontiersmen in the mold of Daniel Boone.  Somewhere in the recesses of my ancient mind I seem to remember a claim that Daniel Boone was supposed to have owned a Dickert rifle at some point.  As money poor as most of them were I still believe that a tool of such importance as a rifle would have been to them would allow for a little adornment such as a patchbox.  I doubt many had inlays or carving to a great extent as became common later.

Offline Don Stith

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2017, 04:04:26 AM »
I may be off a decade in my thinking
  Don't remember when Dickert filled his first contracts.  THanks for questioning me

Offline wormey

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2017, 04:50:33 AM »
Dennis, thanks for the heads up on the museum piece.  I don`t live too far from there and will make it a point to pay them a visit.  Wormey

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2017, 05:04:26 AM »
Don, why would you expect a contract piece at Kings Men.?  That battle was fought on Oct. 7, 1780.  The mountaineers numbered several hundred augmented my several hundreds more from Wilkes and Surry Counties.  The also picked up significant numbers from South Carolina and Georgia when near the cowpens in South Carolina.  Most belonged to a militia of some sorts and recognized officers with authority, but were not trained soldiers of any sorts.  They were individuals first and foremost.  Lyman Draper in his book Kings Mountain and Its Heroes asserts that many of the "Overmountain men" carried "Deccard" rifles.  I believe his work was well known and celebrated at the time, but I don`t think he had expanded his works to a great extent by 1780.  I know he built a barrel mill on a creek for the express purpose of providing barrels for himself and the trade in Lancaster, but that all came later.

I have always lived within 50 miles or so of the battlefield and have visited it countless times.  I have always been intrigued by the battle itself as well as the participants.  I consider myself blessed to have at least a part of a rifle that was at the battle.  Never having the possibility of owning a real Ferguson Rifle I built one from a Rifle Shoppe kit....and yes I am aware that all the experts declare positively that there were no Ferguson Rifles at the battle, but I happen to agree with Earl Lanning that there is good evidence that there were indeed several there, perhaps as many as 15 or 20.  I believe Brian Brown and Ricky Roberts also believe they were there.  They provide some evidence in their boon "Every Insult and Indignity".
Anyway, back to my original question; most of the overmountain men were frontiersmen in the mold of Daniel Boone.  Somewhere in the recesses of my ancient mind I seem to remember a claim that Daniel Boone was supposed to have owned a Dickert rifle at some point.  As money poor as most of them were I still believe that a tool of such importance as a rifle would have been to them would allow for a little adornment such as a patchbox.  I doubt many had inlays or carving to a great extent as became common later.


And then there is the legend of the VA Deccard/Dickert rifles ;D
Dennis
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Offline wormey

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2017, 05:19:56 AM »
Troublemaker!  Don`t get me started..... :D

Offline JTR

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2017, 10:27:16 AM »
Dickert/ Deckart, either way pretty well known during the time.

I worked with a Capt on one of the boats I was on, his family name was Deckard and they had lived in Louisiana for many generations. Knowing I liked old guns, he told me they had an ancestor of that name that lived and worked in Lancaster Pa around the Rev War period, making guns! Said his Deckard guns were known far and wide for accuracy. I was in the process of gathering him up some info on Jacob Dickert, but the old guy died one night while watching TV on the boat....

So wormey, there's no pictures of the gun with original stock?

John
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Offline spgordon

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Re: Jacob Dickert rifle
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2017, 12:58:32 PM »
I wrote a (too) long piece on Jacob Dickert, which is thankfully easily available online:

https://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=180

I don't say much whether Dickert's rifles were used at King's Mountain there--I just didn't find evidence one way or the other, just a tradition--but regarding the spread of Dickert rifles I do write:

A merchant in Lexington, Kentucky — a frontier town with 2,000 inhabitants in 1790, some 600 miles from Lancaster — advertised in 1788 that he had “four dickert rifle guns” for sale. The offhand use of “dickert” as a descriptor suggests that the merchant expected customers to recognize the name.

The contracts that people usually associate with Dickert begin in 1792. But he supplied substantial amounts of arms to the state and continental forces during the Revolution, before 1780. In the article, I also write:

Dickert’s level of production during the Revolution distinguished him from his Lancaster peers. The accounts of funds that William Henry dispersed for “repairing of arms” for continental forces and for the State of Pennsylvania’s forces reveal extremely large payments to Dickert. Between September 1777 and September 1778, Henry disbursed £1,817 to Dickert on behalf of Pennsylvania for 36 rifles and 90 muskets. Dickert did even more work for Continental forces. Between April 1778 and August 1779, Henry paid Dickert £2,143. The only individual who received more funds in this period — Samuel Sarjant, who received £5,656 — was running a factory at Carlisle in Cumberland County that employed nine men. A later continental account records that from October 1779 to March 1782 Dickert earned £2,492. These are, even taking wartime inflation into account, significant sums. They exceed by far those paid to any other Lancaster County gunsmiths.

Scott
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 01:10:15 PM by spgordon »