Author Topic: Relic Study Piece  (Read 1545 times)

Offline 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.

Offline 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.

Offline 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.

Offline Chowmi

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2018, 06:50:43 AM »
Look at that run-out on the barrel. Cool to see
Thanks for posting the pics.

Norm
Cheers,
Chowmi

NMLRA
CLA

Offline David R.

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2018, 03:29:43 PM »
I checked for a load before I started. I had to dig through a gob of mud dauber nest etc.,. about half way down first. No load but some junk and rust did fall out. When I pulled the breech plug there were a few grains of unburned powder still on the face. I think the battered nipple and the weak mainspring probably indicate a fail the last time the gun was tried and the wadding was pulled and most of the powder shaken out.
I have a new oct to round barrel that will almost drop in the original inlet....
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline mountainman70

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 03:30:56 AM »
Sounds like a project heading for the bench,Dave.hahah Imagine that !!
This reminds me of an old fowler  stock and lock I got off gunbriker 8 years ago. New England iron mounted half stock,converted  flint lock to percussion, and a 24" 15/16 cut off rifle barrel.
It is now a fullstock flint shotgun. I will bring it to range next time. Hope you have as much fun resurrecting this as I did mine.
Gene Hyre saw the pitiful stock,I was going to give it away at the last shoot he was able to get to.
He challenged me to give it a go, and I am glad I did.
Keep us posted,bro. Have a goodun, Dave F 8) 8)

btw  Bob W had catatact surgery today. He is home and resting,if that is possible.ahaha

Offline David R.

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2018, 04:43:06 AM »
Oh no. With new eyes I likely wonít be able to beat his match scores anymore.
I would have no quarrel with thee if thou be a friend of liberty.

Offline mountainman70

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2018, 11:50:05 PM »
Have no fear, he still has to get his shoulder fixed,seems he cant stop beating on stuff long enuff for it to heal up.When it does some,he has to get into something that messes it up all over again. He almost as bad,or equal to our other smitty friend Charlie B
Don't know about these boys. Dave 8) 8)

Offline mmcalc

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2018, 08:28:38 PM »
The barrel was proofed after 1813 in the Birmingham Proof House. The tombstone shaped stamp that was partially cut off when the barrel was shortened is the barrel maker's stamp. The BPH view proof stamp was removed. Since the gun was not reproofed, it can be assumed that the rework was done in the US.

Mike






Offline David R.

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2018, 01:58:41 PM »
Mike, I did find the proof mark initial date and found some information (not substantiated) that John Sharpe was active in Birmingham till around 1831. If TOW is correct on their website the tombstone mark with the number one over a bird is from Ketland family.
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Offline JV Puleo

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Re: Relic Study Piece
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2018, 10:42:45 PM »
TOW doesn't know what they are talking about. Look up a paper by Brian Godwin and John Evans on the Tombstone Marks.,,it is on the internet, probably at researchpress. Or, send me a PM with your email address and I'll try to send you the PDF.
The bottom line is that no one knows what they signify but I'm reasonably certain they do not have anything to do with the Ketlands. About all we can say abut them is that they are invariable on flintlock guns and that they post-date the opening of the Birmingham Proof House in 1813.