Author Topic: Relic Study Piece  (Read 575 times)

Online David R.

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Relic Study Piece
« on: May 16, 2018, 02:53:14 AM »
A friend of mine picked this old piece up recently at an auction for me. I wanted it as a study piece. I started cleaning it up today and while it may be a junker, I find it very interesting to forensically try and decipher itís past. 







It apparently has always been a light half stock fowler, but at some point was converted from flint to percussion. I can see where the frizzen spring holes and frizzen pivot holes were plugged and the frizzen bridle sawed off. The barrel has been shortened at the breech by 1 1/2Ē and lugs moved and the back end of the under rib shortened also.
The lock had some interesting engraving of flushing birds, one of which was obscured by the percussion hammer. I was surprised the lock didnít show more wear. The mainspring has evidently relaxed, as a piece of heavy leather was wedged between the leaves. Another interesting thing I see is a steel shoe brazed onto the sear nose. A repair, or original?
The barrel is now a little more than 39Ē about 20 gauge.
The name on top barrell flat reads JOHN SHARPES - TOWER - the next word is obscured but could be LONDON? Any one heard of this manufacturer? Or when the piece would date?







I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline wormey

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 03:09:22 AM »
I have seen a number of export type flint pistols marked Sharpe.  They are generally of the 1800-1805 period and well made.  Some have brass barrels and some of iron.  I`m sure someone more knowledgeable than me will chime in.  Wormey

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 06:08:58 PM »
Nice repair on that sear. I will have to remember that one.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline JV Puleo

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 09:54:18 PM »
An inexpensive, post-1813 export grade fowler - one of thousands made in Birmingham for the trade. The name "Sharpe" shows up on quite a few low-grade pistols and locks. Likely it is John Sharpe, listed in the directories from about 1811 to 1826 according to Bailey & Nie.

Online David R.

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 04:22:39 AM »
Thanks for the info JV.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Online David R.

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2018, 04:29:36 AM »
Finally got the nipple, drum and breech plug to turn loose. Really rough bore. Mud daubers nests etc.,. After a little more cleaning I can read full inscription on top flat, it reads; John Sharpes - Tower Proofed.







I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.