Author Topic: FORDNEY 111218-7  (Read 6856 times)

Offline nord

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FORDNEY 111218-7
« on: January 11, 2012, 02:55:15 AM »
According to Melchoir Fordney's will, Jacob was his brother.  Jacob advertised in The Columbia Spy on June 23, 1830 as a gun maker, repairer, and alterations to percussion ignition.

He advertised in The Pittsburgh Gazette on Oct. 24, 1835 for 15-20 journeyman gunmakers to work in his Lancaster manufactory for constant employment and good wages. This was a pretty big business even before H. E. Leman [Melchoir's apprentice]  started his factory.

Jacob Fordney in 1856.  A family  presentation rifle of walnut , mounted in iron,  and furnished with sterling silver inlays. Astonishingly engraved!

"The Cooper Family Gun" by Jacob Fordney  in all its magnificence. There are 4 sterling silver stock inlays as well 5  sterling silver patchbox piercing inlays. It was made  for "W. Cooper" by Jacob Fordney around 1856 ( "W.C. 1856" engraved on the toe inlay)and presented to his son, "J.W. Cooper  from his Father" (engraved on the cheek piece... 1866 is on the cheek piece twice). Note the extraordinarily  engraving ( typical of all Fordneys); "IRON" mounting on walnut and the "sterling silver" presentation inlays. The nose cap appears to be either German silver or pewter and is engraved "W.C. to ( on one side) J.W.C" ( on the other side)



It is a fine Jacob Fordney rifle, with much greater detail and decoration than most of his rather ordinary output. The historical connection and dates on the rifle make this a good study piece. It retains the clean, strongly triangular butt expected of a Lancaster rifle, beaver tail style later Lancaster cheekpiece, along with wrist checkering. But this checkering is much finer than the usual "basket weave" style open checkering seen on most Lancaster rifles...even the earlier and finer ones.

The mountings appear to be commercial Tryon pieces purchased from Philadelphia, perhaps pre-engraved, with silver added in the patchbox piercings. The fancy, and highly engraved, silver inlays around the lock bolt head on the reverse, and under the percussion nipple area of the front, appear to be later additions that cover/hide damage, perhaps a bad crack in the stock wood and/or worn out lock bolt washer area. Still, very nicely done and a very good quality repair. I am not a big fan of the later hardware, particularly the later guard styles, but this is a fine rifle with attractive architecture, somewhat shortened forestock as seen at times on late Leman rifles, and it carries on the Lancaster tradition proudly into the late percussion years.
Not your typical Fordney, in style or in quality.  This is a very elegant rifle, with some lovely details and decoration. 
A very nice rifle for a later half stock gun, I especially like the silver work.
This is a very fine sporting rifle that is equal to the fine Philadelphia sporting guns by Evans and others. It was almost certainly a custon order and one which demanded the best in everything. It was used, but cared for, and one has to wonder where it went in its period of use. Out west, perhaps? Everything that has already been said here is in agreement with my thoughts; so, let it be sent up to the Library with its known history.
The flip up site is a neat feature of an otherwise above average later Fordney.  To the library!
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 12:20:32 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.