AmericanLongRifles Forums

General discussion => Antique Gun Collecting => Topic started by: gibster on September 08, 2019, 04:29:52 AM

Title: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: gibster on September 08, 2019, 04:29:52 AM
Took pictures of the breech of a N Beyer rifle today and thought you may like to see the marking I N R I which represents the Latin inscription IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVD∆ORVM (Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum), which in English translates to "Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews" (John 19:19).


(https://i.ibb.co/vBb3Vyg/20190907-172927.jpg) (https://ibb.co/cvP6kfM)

(https://i.ibb.co/bXvvtns/20190907-172937.jpg) (https://ibb.co/nj11pS7)

upload image online (https://imgbb.com/)
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Shreckmeister on September 08, 2019, 04:36:40 AM
Didnít others do this as well?
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: rich pierce on September 08, 2019, 04:39:46 AM
His master JP Beck used that.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Karl Kunkel on September 08, 2019, 04:42:03 AM
I think several of the Lebanon sub-school used that.  As Rich said, JPB was the master.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Karl Kunkel on September 08, 2019, 05:07:44 AM
Thanks for posting the picture, that's the first image of the INRI I recall seeing.  I always thought Beck used I+N++R+++I, but this clearly shows three crosses between each letter.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Avlrc on September 08, 2019, 03:54:46 PM
Nice, and a good  post for a Sunday morning, well any day for that matter.  :)
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Mike Brooks on September 08, 2019, 05:03:56 PM
Nifty, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: sqrldog on September 08, 2019, 05:08:38 PM
Enjoyed the post shows how religious and the importance religion was to some of the gunsmiths. The picture also shows how this gunsmith solved fitting his front lock bolt to allow clearance for his ramrod.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Mike Brooks on September 08, 2019, 05:19:30 PM
Enjoyed the post shows how religious and the importance religion was to some of the gunsmiths. The picture also shows how this gunsmith solved fitting his front lock bolt to allow clearance for his ramrod.
Also shows a little rust on the bottom side of the barrel doesn't seem to be a problem.... ;)
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Elnathan on September 08, 2019, 08:37:07 PM
The shape of the breechplug is interesting, too. Never seen that wedge shape before.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: spgordon on September 08, 2019, 09:09:40 PM
Wow, very cool. Did not know that any gunsmiths did this.

Can somebody who has thought about this explain why a gunsmith would include this phrase (INRI)? The phrase often appears at the top of the cross in crucifixion paintings--but in the narrative it is Pilate (or the Romans) who affixes that sign to the top of the cross. That is, claiming to be "King of the Jews" is one of the things Jesus is (wrongly) charged with.

So I understand this in a picture of the crucifixion. But why inscribe this on a rifle? Wouldn't it be the equivalent of a Jewish riflemaker including an anti-Semitic phrase?

Maybe I just don't understand the meaning of IRNI for devout Christians of that time ....
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Stoner creek on September 08, 2019, 09:27:19 PM
Beyerís master, J P Beck did this on occasion also. One rifle (someone out there knows which one) is inscribed with DEO, which I seem to recall as translation to; With the help of God.
I recon the old man rubbed off on his apprentice.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: George on September 08, 2019, 11:02:02 PM
gibster    Thanks for posting  Have heard of this but have never seen  it on a barrel.

George
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: rich pierce on September 08, 2019, 11:27:15 PM
Wow, very cool. Did not know that any gunsmiths did this.

Can somebody who has thought about this explain why a gunsmith would include this phrase (INRI)? The phrase often appears at the top of the cross in crucifixion paintings--but in the narrative it is Pilate (or the Romans) who affixes that sign to the top of the cross. That is, claiming to be "King of the Jews" is one of the things Jesus is (wrongly) charged with.

So I understand this in a picture of the crucifixion. But why inscribe this on a rifle? Wouldn't it be the equivalent of a Jewish riflemaker including an anti-Semitic phrase?

Maybe I just don't understand the meaning of IRNI for devout Christians of that time ....

Iím not sure we can know and am not sure if further discussion is wise or allowed.  But it may primarily point to the crucifixion of Jesus; that he was unjustly accused and bore the sins of others.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: spgordon on September 08, 2019, 11:49:39 PM
Wow, very cool. Did not know that any gunsmiths did this.

Can somebody who has thought about this explain why a gunsmith would include this phrase (INRI)? The phrase often appears at the top of the cross in crucifixion paintings--but in the narrative it is Pilate (or the Romans) who affixes that sign to the top of the cross. That is, claiming to be "King of the Jews" is one of the things Jesus is (wrongly) charged with.

So I understand this in a picture of the crucifixion. But why inscribe this on a rifle? Wouldn't it be the equivalent of a Jewish riflemaker including an anti-Semitic phrase?

Maybe I just don't understand the meaning of IRNI for devout Christians of that time ....

Iím not sure we can know and am not sure if further discussion is wise or allowed.  But it may primarily point to the crucifixion of Jesus; that he was unjustly accused and bore the sins of others.

I can see that; makes sense.

I would certainly hope that list members could have a discussion about what a religious reference might mean to an eighteenth or early nineteenth-century gunsmith. That discussion does not need to (should not!) involve any list member's own beliefs, etc., if that is the concern.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: sqrldog on September 09, 2019, 12:03:28 AM
One of the Beck rifles in the ALR virtual library shows the bottom of the barrel and the INRI inscription also the front lock bolt groove. It is also interesting that the bottom  lugs show no elongation for stock movement.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: mr. no gold on September 09, 2019, 12:56:13 AM
There is a Beck rifle with this INRI inscription on the bottom flat near the breech of the barrel. Below that there is in the stock wood a small carved niche which has what appears to be a flower or some plant material placed in the cavity. This was then covered by a piece of foolscap to hold it in place. Some great meaning to J.P. Beck the builder, or to the owner probably. 
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: bama on September 09, 2019, 06:14:10 AM
I know of two Christian Beck rifles that have what I call prayer notes placed in the barrel channel between the breech and the first barrel lug. These notes are written in old German, one of these notes was in good enough condition that it could be translated. I will see if I can get the owner to post a picture of the note and it's translation.

Even though the INRI was initially a mocking of Christ, I believe that most Christians see this as a devine revelation and as a sign of their faith. I do believe that many of the early gunsmiths were very religious and Christians. Who knows their reasoning. It could have just been a blessing by them that the firearm they built would do no harm.

As a side note, both of these Christian Beck rifles have barrels that have straight rifling.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: smart dog on September 09, 2019, 01:51:17 PM
Hi,
Maybe it was a prayer hoping their barrel wouldn't blow up.

dave
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: bama on September 25, 2019, 07:39:40 PM
I finally got the information on the rifles I mentioned earlier. The first is a picture of the INRI markings on the bottom of a signed Christian Beck rifle with a quote from the owner.

"My Christian Beck dates around 1805 +or -, while he was still in his
father's shop finishing his apprenticeship. I think he moved to the Bethel
area around 1810."

(https://i.ibb.co/PrVRnnC/Christian-Beck-5-jpg-1.jpg) (https://ibb.co/kGPpffc)

This rifle also has a hand written note in the barrel. Unfortunately the note has become attached to the barrel channel and can not be removed but some of the hand writing is still readable. This note appears to be written in Old German and is written in pencil.

The second rifle also has a hand written note in the barrel, is written in Old German and is written with pencil. This rifle is not signed and has Bonewitz style patch box and furniture. This note is in good condition and the current owner had the note transcribed. The note refers to the Bible verses John chapter 1 verses 1 & 2.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

Here is a picture of that note.

(https://i.ibb.co/vLrLk46/Best-image-of-note.png) (https://ibb.co/CVXVQK3)

While I could not see the note that well in the first rifle I could see a few words. Both notes are written in pencil and the hand writing on both notes is very similar. Another similarity of both rifles is that they both have straight rifled barrels.

There is a connection between these two rifles. Could be a young Christian Beck after leaving his father's shop toying with other designs, who knows. It sure if fun thinking about it.

Thanks to both owners for allowing me to share this information.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: WESTbury on September 25, 2019, 10:39:52 PM
Thanks for sharing the photos!

The hand written note is a priceless artifact to have.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: spgordon on September 25, 2019, 11:48:45 PM
I think I helped get that handwritten note translated from German script in 2015 for the current owner! I had totally forgotten about that.

I can totally understand an important verse from the Gospels being tucked away in a rifle as a sign of religious devotion or just for good luck. I am still puzzled by the I.N.R.I, though, which was a phrase, as you said, used to mock Christ. I am not doubting that the folks who carved it in the barrels did so out of religious devotion. There is no other explanation. It is just a very odd phrase to choose, in my opinion!
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: bama on September 26, 2019, 01:12:50 AM
SP thank you for that effort. I knew that the owner had sent the note to see if it could be translated but did not know who that was.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: mr. no gold on September 26, 2019, 03:08:49 AM
SP, the case can be made that Pontius Pilate posting the INRI on the cross of Jesus was actually a rebuke intended for the Sanhedrin, not Jesus. They rejected all evidence that perhaps Jesus was indeed the king of the Jews and tricked Pilate into condemning Him to die. He retaliated by posting the sign and then insulted the members of the Sanhedrin who protested. That is my understanding of that day.
Dick
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Robert Wolfe on September 26, 2019, 04:41:23 AM
From the Wikipedia entry for INRI

"In Western Christianity, most crucifixes and many depictions of the crucifixion of Jesus include a plaque or parchment placed above his head, called a titulus, or title, bearing only the Latin letters INRI, occasionally carved directly into the cross and usually just above the head of Jesus. In the Eastern Church "King of Glory" (τῆς Δόξης, tÍs Důxēs) may be used."

If it was originally used to mock Jesus I think it has been co-opted into the faith, or at least it has by some sects.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: spgordon on September 26, 2019, 03:43:39 PM
Thanks for all these replies to my puzzlement. I appreciate it.

I just didn't know that these initials, which do appear in many images of the crucifixion but are usually understood as an instance of the Romans mocking Christ, had been co-opted as expressions of faith. But they must have been if these gunsmiths were engraving them on their barrels...
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Bob McBride on September 26, 2019, 04:04:57 PM
It has been Ďco-optedí by definition, as a statement of fact, as opposed to a mockery, but that was done in the first few centuries AD, and is now seen by virtually every practicing Christian as part of a fuller representation of the cross, and by extension, the Passion, much as the Ďhillí (Calvary), the two crosses belonging to the other two Ďcriminalsí that were executed at the same time are. 
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: PHILADa on September 27, 2019, 05:09:35 PM
Hello everyone:

I would like to suggest reading Braucherei and the Ritual of Everyday Life, " Powwowing in Pennsylvania" by Patrick J. Donmoyer.  This modern interpretation, 2017, is full of photo examples and documentation of the use of symbols and INRI inscriptions and their possible purpose.  This information would be contemporary with Beck, Beyer and others.  It is not unreasonable in my opinion that we need to be aware of how Pennsylvania German localisms including Lebanon County folks may have seen and used these inscriptions on everyday tools, barns and personal items.  If you were not born into a Pa. German family who mentions such things then you would not have the basic knowledge provided by Patrick Donmoyer.

Hope this proves to be interesting.

Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: spgordon on September 27, 2019, 11:48:23 PM
Awesome suggestion. Thank you.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Loudy on September 28, 2019, 12:51:29 AM
Related website link...

https://glencairnmuseum.org/newsletter/2017/3/2/powwowing-in-pennsylvania

Very interesting topic. 

Loudy
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: smart dog on September 28, 2019, 04:23:59 AM
Hi,
Wonderful link and scholarship.  So my take away about "INRI' is that it is a blessing that was a hold over from the Catholic  or earlier "Universal" church traditions.  Many southern Germans were Catholics and the 30-years war split the Germanic principalities as northern Protestant Germans warred with southern Catholic Germans.  Of course it was not so clear cut as the Catholic French came in on the side of the Protestant Germans and Swedes, and Scottish mercenaries fought on both sides. 

dave
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Karl Kunkel on September 28, 2019, 04:56:57 AM
What an interesting thread.  You can learn so much here.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: Elnathan on September 28, 2019, 05:53:10 PM
Related website link...

https://glencairnmuseum.org/newsletter/2017/3/2/powwowing-in-pennsylvania

Very interesting topic. 

Loudy

I haven't read the whole article, but the section on warts is near identical to what I've read concerning the folk medicine re: warts here in the Appalachians. Evidently the Scots-Irish had some of the same beliefs, though I can't recall any mention of INRI being used as a talisman here.

Incidentally, some of these things might have actually worked after a fashion, via the placebo effect. Back in college I knew a girl that once told me that her father used to buy warts for a penny from small kids. He was a doctor, IIRC.
Title: Re: I N R I Marking under N Beyer Barrel
Post by: WESTbury on September 28, 2019, 11:10:47 PM
Let me guess, he was a doctor from Hogwarts.