Author Topic: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle  (Read 7282 times)

Offline mbriggs

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Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« on: May 20, 2012, 08:33:15 PM »
I recently purchased what I think is the best Jamestown School Longrifle I have ever owned.  Over the last 32 years I have owned over 120 rifles from this School and I still have a nice collection of them.  My favorite gunsmith from this School is William Lamb.  From what I have read, he was the most widely respected gunsmith of his peers.  He was born in 1806 in Guilford County.  His uncle Thaddeus Gardner was the man mostly responsible for starting the Jamestown School and he taught his nephew to make rifles.  They must have worked as partners for a short while in the late 1820's as at least three rifles have surfaced signed TG & WL.

Here is the barrel from one of those rifles.



Over the years I have owned many William Lamb signed or attributed Longrifles.  In 2008, a friend from the American Society of Arms Collectors approached me to see if I was interested in purchasing a really nice signed William Lamb Patchbox rifle that was in Connecticut.  The collecter had passed away and my friend was asked to sell the collection.  After examing it I thought at that time it was the best example I would ever own so I purchased it.  The rifle was all original and in great condition.  It contained the best example of false silver wedges on the interrupted fore-stock molding that I had seen. I believe it is a very good example of a traditional Jamestown School Patchbox Rifle.

Here are a few photos.   

















Back in the 90's another collector friend of mine told me that he had found and purchased a great and unusual Jamestown Rifle.  It took several years for me to persuade him to allow me to see this rifle.  He had learned about the rifle in the 80's that was still with the family in the small town of Society Hill, South Carolina.  He made many trips there to try and purchase this rifle and they finally agreed to sell it to him.

The rifle is a traditional Jamestown School rifle in every way but the Patchbox finial which is a silver Eagle.  This is one of six Jamestown Rifles that I have seen over the years that have some form of Eagle finial Patchbox.  No two are alike.  Four of the six rifles are signed by William Lamb. The other two are attributed to him. This is one of the attributed rifles. I believe that he must have been influenced by the work the Vogler gunsmiths were doing in Salem, North Carolina which was 20 miles west of his shop in Jamestown.


This rifle features the same false silver wedges on the interrupted fore-stock as the signed rifle above.  I also like the brass and silver worked together on the butt-plate, entry pipe, ram-rod thimbles, and nose cap.









Note the small beavertails on the rear of the lock mortise, these are found on a few early Jamestown School Longrifles.



   





This is the only Jamestown Rifle I have seen with silver worked into brass on the nose cap.
















This rifle has never been displayed out in public.  It was not featured in Bill Ivey's great new book on North Carolina Longrifles. My friend offered to sell me this rifle early this year.  It was a large investment, but I think it was worth it. I plan to have both of these rifles along with several others by William Lamb and Thaddeus Gardner on display at the Spring Meeting of the American Society of Arms Collectors and the KRA Meeting next month so others can enjoy them. 

Please tell me what you think? 

Michael 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 03:13:09 AM by Dennis Glazener »
C. Michael Briggs

Offline Curt J

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2012, 09:20:12 PM »
I think they are both beautiful rifles, representing the very best Jamestown-style guns.  I have a Robert Lamb, listed as a gunsmith in North Fork Precinct, Gallatin County, Illinois, in the 1850 census.  He was born in North Carolina, in 1792.  He had two children ages 19 & 20, who were born in Kentucky.  I feel fairly certain that he was part of this same family.  There were a number of Lambs living in Gallatin County, Illinois during that period, including several named "Robert". There was a Robert Lamb, who died between Oct. 15, 1859 & Sept. of 1860, who's estate included blacksmith tools, etc., who have might been him. Do you know anything about him?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 09:34:13 PM by Curt J »

Offline mbriggs

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2012, 09:31:57 PM »
Curt,
I am sorry, but I have not heard of Robert Lamb.  I know that a number of Guilford County gunsmiths moved to the midwest.  David Grose moved to Terre Haute, Indiana in 1821.  Issac Jones moved to Montgomery County, Indiana in 1838.  Robert H. Polk, Evan Johnson, and Nathan Wright also moved to Indiana.  Henry Wright moved to Missouri in 1870.  I have often wondered if they continued to make Jamestown School Longrifles after they moved there?  I have been told that Robert H. Polk trained other gunsmiths after he moved there.

There were several large groups of Quakers who left here for the midwest.  The first group in the 1820's.  The second group just before the Civil War.  The third group just after the Civil War during reconstruction.

The only Lamb gunsmith I know of who left here was "Jay" Lamb.  He was a cousin of William Lamb and he founded the small community of Lambsburg in Virginia in 1867.  I visited there last year.  It consist of six houses, a post office and two churches nearby.  I did find his grave.

Does the Robert Lamb rifle look like a Jamestown School rifle?

Michael      
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 09:34:21 PM by mbriggs »
C. Michael Briggs

Offline JTR

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 01:12:42 AM »
Michael,
That's a fine looking rifle, and certainly worthy of a substantial investment!
I'm curious, are the brass and silver joined pieces soldered together?
That rifle was someones pride and joy when it was new, and it obviously still is today!

John
John Robbins

Offline mbriggs

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 04:38:45 PM »
John,
Thank you for the nice comments.  Yes, the silver and brass are soldered together.  That is something we find often in North Carolina, mostly in the Jamestown, Salem, and Mecklenburg Longrifle Schools.

Michael
C. Michael Briggs

Offline Buck

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 06:17:47 PM »
Michael,
Beautiful, I really liked the Masonic rifles but these 2 are spectacular. Great stuff!!!
Buck

GrampaJack

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2012, 01:36:46 AM »
Thanks for sharing these wonderful guns with us.  These are the first Jamestown guns I remember seeing and they are certainly everything a long rifle should be. I do have a question, the proportions are as near perfect as can be in my humble opinion, could you tell me what the barrel length(s) are?  Thanks, Jack

Offline mbriggs

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2012, 03:03:08 AM »
Jack,
I am glad you enjoyed seeing them.  We find a lot of the later half-stock, percussion rifles from the Jamestown School.  The early patch box rifles like these are quite rare and hard to find.

The barrel length on the twisted star patch box rifle is 45 1/2 inches.  The barrel length on the Eagle patch box rifle is 46 1/2 inches.

Michael

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GrampaJack

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2012, 03:58:38 AM »
Thanks, will these guns be added to the library? I  sure hope so.  Jack

Offline Hurricane ( of Virginia)

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2012, 05:59:05 PM »
Yep!Thanks grampa
Hurricane
« Last Edit: May 24, 2012, 05:59:32 PM by Hurricane ( of Virginia) »

Online Jason C

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 05:41:07 PM »


I kind of hate to dredge up an old post , but was curious if there is any way to fix the pictures that are missing?

I have ordered your Guilford Longrifles book will the rifles in this post be in it?

Thank you for all the work and information you provide about these rifles.

Offline mbriggs

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Re: Great William Lamb Eagle Patchbox Rifle
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 11:15:59 PM »
Thanks, the photos are in the book.

Michael
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