Author Topic: Another "Faber" gun  (Read 1251 times)

Offline Stophel

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Another "Faber" gun
« on: January 27, 2019, 04:39:22 AM »
I just now got the books "Accouterments", volumes IV and V.    Looking through volume V, I was struck by one gun in particular.  On page 62 there is a smoothbore gun.  Assuming everything is genuine, this gun is very obviously by the same man that made the famous "Johannes Faber" gun (I'm still not entirely convinced that is the actual name on the sideplate..).   It's a cherry stocked smoothbore gun of ordinary form, with an ordinary "fowler type" triggerguard.  It has the exact same shape sideplate (and a name engraved upon it, which I cannot make out in the picture), identical thumbplate, identical buttplate.  The engraving is VERY similar in form and style, and the carving at the comb nose is also nearly the same, as is the tang carving.  In fact, there's little different between the two beyond the triggerguard, cheekpiece, and wood box.  The text says that "the name 'John Brackbill' engraved using old Gothic German letters" on the barrel.

I wonder if anyone knows anything else about this gun, and what their thoughts are on it.
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Online Mike Brooks

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2019, 06:09:12 PM »
I think this gun was featured By Geo. Shumway in MUZZLE BLASTS a long time ago. I ripped the article out and shoved it in my copy of RCA II. I have repopped it a couple times. Shumway connects it to the Faber gun as well.
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Offline Stophel

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 10:07:30 PM »
I don't know how I could have missed it!

I wonder what is engraved on the sideplate...

When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Online Mike Brooks

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2019, 12:32:05 AM »
I don't know how I could have missed it!

I wonder what is engraved on the sideplate...
I'll find the article and let you know. It ain't "Faber", it's another name.
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Offline Top Jaw

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 04:20:06 PM »
This was an intriguing post on a potential maker associated with the Faber gun.  Any info on gunsmith John Brackbill?

Online Mike Brooks

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 05:26:51 PM »
This was an intriguing post on a potential maker associated with the Faber gun.  Any info on gunsmith John Brackbill?
More than likely Brackbill is an owner, not the maker. The two guns in question both are signed on the sideplates, each has a different name.
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Offline Joe Schell

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 10:34:57 PM »
i asked Bob Lienemann his opinion on the names on those guns,
he said the "Faber " is actually Huber and the other is Brechbill.
I looked at some online records and found a few Johannes Hubers in Lancaster Pa in the 1730-1780 time period and also a John Breckbill.
Does anyone think these guns could have a Lancaster connection rather than VA ?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 11:05:24 PM by Joe Schell »

Online Mike Brooks

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 11:08:19 PM »
i asked Bob Lienemann his opinion on the names on those guns,
he said the "Faber " is actually Huber and the other is Brechbill.
I looked at some online records and found a few Johannes Hubers in Lancaster Pa in the 1730-1780 time period and also a John Breckbill.
Does anyone think these guns could have a Lancaster connection rather than VA ?
(as I slowly raise my hand) I do! Stranger things have happened.... ;)
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 11:22:04 PM »
I abstain. I am agnostic about where these were made. Several makers in Lancaster and I’m sure other areas apparently did not pay attention in “school”.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline blienemann

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2019, 12:56:13 AM »
Thanks for the posts on this interesting pair.

As Joe says, the "Faber rifle" is actually Johannes Huber in the old German script, and each person's hand could vary.  The lower case "h" in Johannes is repeated but larger as the first letter - now a capital "H" in the last name, followed by a "u" vs. "a".  Huber was a common name in many areas.  From my very limited studies, there was a Johannes Huber and wife with the Moravians who missioned to the Native Americans in 1745 (probably carried a rifle), George Huber was a blacksmith who came from Germany as a boy and trained with Abraham Steiner at Conestoga, moved to Bethlehem 1747 and later at Christian's Spring - would have known Albrecht and Oerter, there were more Hubers north of Lancaster with the Rathvons (George a later gunstocker), a Col John Huber led the 9th Battalion of Lancaster Co Militia in 1777, and Jacob Huber of Warwick gave the land for Lititz, PA to the Moravians.

The other rifle - friend Edward Quinter helped with this - it is literally John Brech Bill but combined to John Brechbill.  The name is common in Lebanon and Lancaster counties, also shows up as Brachbill or Brackbill as Shumway mentioned.  Searches of family databases or Google turn up a number of possible John B's.

Rich - i don't think we are fighting for a particular location, but trying to learn.  Both names may be common in Virginia or elsewhere - i have not studied these areas closely.  Agree that these would be the buyers / owners of the two guns rather than the gunstocker, and finding men with these names in various locations might help us find a new maker?  What time period do you all prescribe to the guns? 

Bob

Offline smart dog

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2019, 01:32:02 AM »
Hi Bob,
Thanks for your input. This is fascinating.  I believe many folks believe the "Faber" gun is pre-revolutionary and possibly as early as the French and Indian war.  I've not read (or cannot remember) the rationale for that dating.  I don't recall if it was the opinion of Wallace Gussler or not.  The fact that Faber and Brechbill were common names about Lancaster is very interesting.  I wonder if those 2 names were also common together in northern Virgina? 

dave
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2019, 01:58:58 AM »
Bob, the guesstimate dating of early rifles seems more problematic when only a couple examples of a type exist. After handling one or two of the robust Oerter rifles, my sense that wide=very early has weakened considerably. Also oddness or unusual-ness alone should not move the guesstimate backwards, though I’ve been susceptible to that. The Faber rifle could easily be a 1770s gun, or 1760s. One easy pitfall is to estimate one gun’s dating by another gun’s estimated dating. “If such and such was made around this date, then this one must have been made by this date.”  We only have the Schreit rifle, really.

After all those disclaimers if I had to pick I’d say 1770 plus or minus 5 years as my best guess.
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Online Mike Brooks

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Re: Another "Faber" gun
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2019, 02:35:32 AM »
Hey, I never got over the Bullard rifle being a Newcomer rifle. ::) So, I'm open to anything these days.
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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'?