Author Topic: Halfstock (Unknown Maker) 091104-1  (Read 4832 times)

Offline nord

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Halfstock (Unknown Maker) 091104-1
« on: November 11, 2009, 05:31:59 PM »
Appears to be a Philadelphia gun and some have suggested that it might be by Anthony Z. Brown since it bears similarities to those marked with his name. 
 
The specs are:
 
.54 caliber, rather heavy for the size I think
30.5" barrel
Iron mountings except for foreend cap and barrel key escutcheon which is german silver
Furniture all engraved with silver bands at hooked breech
Checkered and carved wrist with engraving motifs matching lock and sideplate
Walnut stock

















Comments:
   
It never ceases to baffle me....how a man could make such a fine rifle, yet not bother to sign it. The superior workmanship is immediately evident. It does look like a Philadelphia rifle, probably dating from the 1850's, but I'd stop short of saying who made it.
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What a beautiful rifle, and wonderfully executed in all of its artistry. The pineapple suggests a Phila. heritage, perhaps in the shop of one of the premium small shop gun makers. Aside from the art aspects, the gun is unusual and out of the ordinary in many ways. The engraving is superior, as is the checkered wrist. That it has iron furniture is not foreign to guns made in the City, but it could have just as easily been brass, or silver.
I am reminded of a gun that I didn't buy and have regretted ever since. It was a Philad. rifle by Evans and was a half stocked gun, too. Everything about it was superior and everything was iron with a similar quality of engraving. Actually, this one is a much better piece.
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This does appear to be a Philadelphia, or Philadelphia-influenced, rifle from the 1850s and of the highest workmanship.  I agree; it is amazing that such skilled gunsmiths did not sign their work. I know some of the earlier gunsmiths did not sign because of humility inspired by their devotion to God, but I wonder if many (like, perhaps, the maker of this rifle) did not bother to sign because they believed their work was well known in their local market at the time they were working.  Surely, they never thought of a national interest in their work 170 years later.

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A great rifle, but at .54 caliber you have to wonder what the intended use of this rifle was.... possibly someone heading west, but in comfort and luxury? It sure looks like it could have come from Philadelphia, but I wouldn't rule out New York. 

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 New York is also a good possibility.....or somewhere further west that we wouldn't even suspect.  I also agree that this was probably a "gentleman's big game rifle", made for the West, but not a "Mountain Man's" gun by any means. The larger of the two "L. G. Ward, Springfield Illinois" rifles that are already in the Library is similar in many ways. Fancy wood, intricate silver inlays and delicate engraving...and .50 caliber.
In Memory of Lt. Catherine Hauptman Miller 6/1/21 - 10/1/00 & Capt. Raymond A. Miller 12/26/13 - 5/15/03...  They served proudly.