Author Topic: Nicholas Hawk  (Read 10481 times)

Offline Fullstock longrifle

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Nicholas Hawk
« on: January 30, 2012, 01:30:07 AM »
While scanning the internet I came across this Nicholas Hawk for sale, all I can say is wow!  This is a super N. Hawk, wish it were cheaper, or I had more money.  By the way, I don't have any connection to this, I just thought you guys would enjoy seeing it as much as I did.

https://www.aaawt.com/html/firearms/f48.html

Frank
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 03:16:29 AM by Dennis Glazener »

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 01:39:55 AM »
De Oppresso Liber
Marietta, GA

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Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 06:23:22 AM »
That is a beautiful swivel breech rifle! Thank you Frank for bringing it to our attention. Does anyone besides me think this rifle was once a flintlock? The brass treatment along the sides of the barrels instead of wood is interesting. I have never seen it done like this. The later percussion era SB rifles would just have bare barrels with no side adornment. N. Hawk sure was a skilled engraver! I'd call this bank note engraving at it's best!
Joel Hall

Offline Fullstock longrifle

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 05:01:32 PM »
I'm sure it was originally a flintlock Joel, I wouldn't be surprised if somebody put it back that way at some point.  About 10 years ago I owned a Nicholas hawk Swivel breech (not as good as this one), the brass panels up the side are normal for a Hawk, and the way he engraved them sure make them (and the gun) pop.  Hawk was a heck of an engraver.

FK

Offline JTR

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 08:50:47 PM »
Personally, I'm going to agree with the seller, and doubt this rifle was ever a flintlock.
I've studied Hawks work some, and I've only seen one other swivel that I think was originally made as a percussion, and that's the one I own.

I base this on the small oval, engraved on the forward lock plate. If the gun was originally a flintlock, the engraved oval would be under the frizzen spring, and there wouldn't be much point in engraving something that would be under the spring.

Plus, the 'without a doubt' flint guns that I've seen, or seen pictures of, don't have this oval engraved there.
The forward portion of the lock on my swivel gun is exactly the same as this guns, with the engraved oval, the bit of engraving around the screw, and what looks like the remnants of a pan around/under the percussion drum. I don't actually think this is the remnant of a flintlock pan as used on the gun, but more just a remnant of the thought of one, and is now just a small projection to help keep percussion flash from taking its toll on the lock plate.

I agree that at some point it wouldn't be surprising to see this gun turn up as a flint though!

As for the engraving, Hawk was a very fine engraver! His hand was light and fine, and at one point he evidently spent some time in jail for forging either paper money, or the plates to print it.
Before I would buy it, I would suggest looking closely at the silver inserts in the PB and inlays behind the cheek piece, and some of the engraving that's on the lock on this gun, and decide for yourself whether it's Nicolas Hawks work or not. The decision might or might not make a difference in how you'd value the gun.

Also, it's interesting to note that when the barrels were cut back about 6" from the breech end, that the brass side pieces were cut in two ahead of the locks, the extra length removed, then the two pieces riveted back together again at the new length.

This is a nice gun, and it's nice to see another unpublished one by Hawk (at least I haven't seen it before), and at an appreciating price!

John
John Robbins

Offline Fullstock longrifle

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 12:51:06 AM »
After reading your post I went back and took a closer look, and I think you could be right John. I guess I rushed to judgement, I always thought Hawk worked in the flint period and I never saw one that was original percussion.  Closer examination of the silver insets make me wonder about them as well, oh well, still an interesting gun.

FK
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 12:53:02 AM by Fullstock longrifle »

Offline JTR

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 02:12:26 AM »
Right on Frank! Still interesting, and I'd still be happy to have it!
I saw a pretty fine flint Hawk swivel some time ago with a non-Hawk silver eagle inlay behind the cheek piece. The gun was in very nice condition, but not as fully engraved as some, and still sold for either $19K or $25K, I forget which.

I guess if someone wants a good Hawk Swivel, they better get it now, before the price goes clear outta sight!  ;D

John
John Robbins

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 03:40:01 AM »
I would say its always been percussion.
Hawk, was such a good engraver he apparently made some plates for printing money.

Dan
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Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 03:45:15 AM »
John, you mention non Hawk inlays on N. Hawk rifles. What do you think is going on with this? A later owner adding inlays? A modern bit of chicainery? Or what? My small pun about bank note engraving........I meant to do that. :D
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 03:48:15 AM by Majorjoel »
Joel Hall

Offline JTR

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2012, 07:02:40 PM »
Hi Joel,
The gun with the eagle inlay I had in hand, and while the engraving was in Hawks style, it clearly wasn't done by his hand.
I haven't had this gun in hand, so am only going by the same pictures you see. And as I'm sure you know, a picture can be misleading, so I can't say one way or another whether Ol' Nic did the inlays on this gun.

What I did was to download and enlarge the pics of the close-up of the side plate and the toe plate. These are Hawk engraving for sure.
Then I downloaded and enlarged the close up picture of the inlay behind the cheek piece, the patchbox with the silver inserts, and the close-up one of the lock with the engraving on the hammer, and compared it to the side and toe plate engraving. And by compare, I mean the engraving details, and not just the general look.

If you look closely at Hawks engraving, it's fairly simple with a lot of repetition. He really liked ovals! And parts of ovals! Just cut a bunch of tiny lines along the edge of a half oval to make it sort of look like an arrowhead, then just build on that theme a bunch more times, and add a few little curlicues here and there, and viola! But notice, for the most part, he was very consistent. A lot of the time, the tiny lines are cut so close together as to effectively make it look almost like a shadow.

Now compare the known Hawk engraving to that on those other inlays, and decide for yourself.

John   
John Robbins

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 07:07:35 PM »
I would say its always been percussion.
Hawk, was such a good engraver he apparently made some plates for printing money.

Dan
Yes, and I understand he sat in the slammer because of it. 

Offline Hurricane ( of Virginia)

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 07:39:09 PM »
Three "Hawk" guns are in the Museum.

Here is the URL:

http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?board=139.0

Offline louieparker

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 08:20:53 PM »
John. I have also studied Hawk a bit and really like his work ..I personally don't think  the styling or the engraving are up to the standard of Hawk .The enlay behind the cheek piece couldn't  be called artistic . It has a  big hump in order to allow for more silver ..Even the fit of the inserts are not what I would expect .....I agree its the first original percussion that I have seen ,,,Just another opinion ...Louie

Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 08:43:59 PM »
I don't see anything holding those silver inlays in the cheekpiece or patchbox?  Did somebody
glue them in?
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline Majorjoel

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 11:01:20 PM »
Thank you John for your thoughts and opinions on this engraving work. I suppose that N. Hawk probably had an apprentice or two around to do some of this work. It would explain the different hand in some of the inlay\engraving.
Joel Hall

Offline kutter

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2012, 06:17:31 AM »
Just looking at it as an engraver, not as any sort of knowledgeable person re: antique M/L rifles,,,

The hammer engraving stands out first.
It's the only part I see looking it over in the pics fairly quickly with any type of what we'd call scroll work on it.
Everything else is a combination of bright cut borders and shaded arcs.

The lockplate engraving and the steel plates attached to the barrel(s) ahead of the lock plate have the same style of the rest of the gun, but hardly the same coverage when compared to the brass parts of the gun also engraved.
There are no bright cut borders on the steel lock plate parts, and the shaded arcs look less well done & much less coverage than than those of the brass parts.
The engraver may have lacked enthusiasm for working on steel (not uncommon for those trained in the jewelry  or copper plate (block printing) engraving trades).  

I can't see enought of the PB  silver inlays to make much of an observation.
The ones on the cheek piece side inlay/overlay appear to have been outlined in the brass base metal after they were attached. Sometimes done give a sharper edge to the inlay/overlay, especially if soldered onto the surface.
They have the same bright cut border and some of the shaded lines cut inwards toward the curves of the inlays. The spacing of the shading lines is not as tight as on the brass parts however and they don't have the taper from short to long to short that the brass parts have. That's what give the effect of a shadow, especially when the age/patina/wear of the part kicks in.

The silver oval (top of the grip?) also looks to have been done with the same effect to the shade and border cuts as the silver overlays on the above mentioned cheek piece side brass inlay.
Shorter, wider spaced shade lines & overall  less attention to the detail in cutting.
There is shading,,,and there is cutting a number of lines of random width, length and spacing in the same area.
One produces the required effect when viewed,,the other takes up space.

Just my observations...


..and a question,,,is there a piece of wood used as a shim, under the bottom of each steel lock plate on the bbl assemblyand extending under the brass plate attached to the barrels?
It appears at the top of the off side bbl & plate as it is rotated upside-down.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 06:58:53 AM by kutter »

Offline bama

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Re: Nicholas Hawk
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2012, 05:18:11 AM »
This is a very nice rifle but I will have to agree that there are some things not quite right as has been mentioned. The inlay behind the cheek piece is either a replacement or a add on. The engraving on this is definitely not Hawks. The cock is probably a replacement and the silver inlays in the PB were probably added when the inlay behind the cheek piece was added or replaced. When this work was done is anybody's guess but was most likely done during it's working life.

Still a very nice rifle.
Jim Parker

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