Author Topic: Berks? 110304-1  (Read 5249 times)

Offline nord

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Berks? 110304-1
« on: March 21, 2011, 05:31:11 PM »
The following series represents the progression of a rifle from attic  to restored condition. We note and appreciate the fact that no major physical changes were attempted.

Different opinions exist on the advisability of such work when it comes to the standpoint of collector interest and value. One point of agreement is that an owner has every right to do whatever pleases his/her eye. There will always be those who disagree, yet there will be others who appreciate the fact that beauty has been resurrected from years of neglect. Neither side is without merit.

Since there seems to be a general agreement that this piece is deserving of exhibit it will be displayed in both attic and restored condition. Displayed as such we respect the history of this rifle while appreciating its many qualities and its present beauty.


Owner's addendum:

I am the owner of the gun that was restored by XXXX.  I thought that measurements of the gun might help.  It is a smooth rifle with a 54 cal. oct. to round barrel. It was probably cut off at some point and is now 35 and 1/2 inches long and the gun is 51" OA. It was originally a flintlock and converted to percussion.  The lock is marked "London Warranted".  XXXX did a nice job on gun.  I should add that it sat in a barn for at least the past 20 years and the metal was so rusted in places and the brass so corroded that it was destroying the brass.  The only way to save the gun was to do what XXXX did.  As I am a minimalist when it comes to restoration, he only did what was absolutely necessary.
I am also attaching one additional photo which you don't have of the before condition of the muzzle end of the gun.



If we did not see the "before" picture, I'd guess we would generally think the gun has an interesting patchbox that strays from the norm, and it should be included in the museum as an original gun. Probably PA, possibly WV, interesting addition, and better than some previous "stuff" that's been moved on to the museum. 


As to the rifle: it's a fine gun with unusual traits and it could be reasonably early. Since we apparently don't know who made it, we can blame it on one of the Hess family makers. When in doubt, blame a Hess!

I have spoken with the contributor who is not the owner, but is the gunsmith who restored the gun.  I agree that the merit of the gun should not be lost.


Should the restored rifle and nothing else have been presented, I'd then say there wasn't a problem. I'm sure the restoration would have been noted, but it would only have been a passing comment.

For me it's not that the gun has been restored. In fact, I defend the right of the owner to restore to his hearts content. My problem is the proper presentation of history. We speculate on unknown history without a second thought and present it in our comments on a regular basis. This time I believe we should present history openly since it's a matter of record. This was an honest restoration with no attempt to hide anything. We must respect the owner's right to restore beauty when possible.

 I ask which cause is better served ( given that many guns in the Museum have been "adjusted." ( just saw the movie). Would the "student" audience be better served by a displayed gun without comment or should it be declined , likely never to be seen by anyone other than the owner again? There are  3 subjects here: 1. The gun  2. Restoration 3. Committee deliberation. I support showing the gun. One of the most extensive collections I know of (some 200 guns) , I am told, have all been restored to "pristine"...certainly the ones I have seen have.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 04:07:44 AM by Dennis Glazener »
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.