Author Topic: Lamb, Anderson Boys Rifle  (Read 7520 times)

Offline Hurricane ( of Virginia)

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Lamb, Anderson Boys Rifle
« on: December 14, 2008, 09:24:27 PM »
Anderson Lamb Jamestown Boys Rifle
 I thougth I would share with you a recent acquistion that I have been searching for over 20 years. I started collecting Guilford County North Carolina Longrifles (known locally as Jamestown Rifles for the small Quaker community where most of the Longrifle shops were centered)in 1980. I was born and raised in this area, but until I was thirty, I never knew that any rifles were made in this County.You can imagine my surprise when I learned that a Longrifle School had operated here from 1795 to 1902. After collecting and studying this subject for 20 years I wrote a book titled The Longrifle Makers of Guilford County back in 2000 in which I was able to name 87 men that worked in this County as Gunsmiths, Gunstockers, and apprentices during that period. This was easliy the largest of the nine Longrifle Schools in North Carolina. Can any of you tell me was there a larger School in any county in Virginia, Maryland or Pennsylvania? How many rifle makers worked in that school?I learned that the first three gunsmiths that I can identify in Guilford County were Thaddeus Gardner, David Grose, and Craft Jackson. I now have the earliest rifles that I am aware of from each maker and will share them with you in future post. These men worked in the 1795 to 1820 period.Between 1980 and 1985, I was able to locate and view several small Jamestown half-stock rifles that other collectors called Boys Rifles. In each case the rifle was not for sale or was not in good enough condition to warrant the purchase of it. I saw enough of them during this period that I knew it was only a matter of time until I found a nice example that I could add to my collection.The next thing I knew over twenty years had gone by and I had not seen a single Jamestown Boys Rifle during that period. I had not known how rare they were after seeing 5 or 6 back in the eighty's.Back in 2000 I made a decision that has greatly added to my collection. I purchased two tables twice a year at the modern Greensboro Gun Show and set up a display of my local Longrifles. I have been able to sell enough of my books to pay for the tables. At every show I have a few people that stop and tell me, I have one of those, or I know where one of those is. It has really paid off for me. The first show led me to a rare Mendenhall, Jones, & Gardner Confederate Rifle made in Jamestown. The next show led me to an even rarer Clapp, Gates, & Co. Confederate rifle also made in this county. In 2005, I met a Virginia Gentleman that I purchased a Rowan Christmas tree box longrifle signed on the box lid by George Eagle that even has an Eagle sitting on the Christmas tree. I also found a rare Jamestown rifle signed by Bartlett Yancey Couch from a person I met at the show. I have been able to add each of these to my collection.     Last August, a man carrying this Anderson Lamb Boy's Rifle walked in through the door. I had just finished talking with two KRA friends Arron Capel and John Braxton and telling them how long I had been looking for a Jamestown Boy's Rifle. Within 30 mintues here was a man standing in front of me offering to sell me one. (This is not the first time very strange things have happened timing wise at this show but I will save those for future stories.) I was able to purchase the rifle and while it was not cheap, I would not sell it for two or three times the price.

This is the best example of a Jamestown Boy's rifle that I have seen to date. The rifle is all silver mounted with nice engraving on all silver surfaces including the butt plate, entry pipe and trigger guard. The rifle also has a silver cap box and small Christian fish inlays. The rifle also has over 90% of it's original aquafortis finish. It also still has the original ram rod. Even the barrel rib is engraved. The barrel is 31 long.Anderson Lamb was born in Randolph County in 1815. I have read a couple of books that list him and William Lamb as brothers, but I have documented that instead, they are brother inlaws. William married Anderson's older sister Frances Lamb. As William was nine years older, I think that Anderson apprenticed with William. I do know that they were partners in a new barrel mill from 1844 to 1847. I have also seen several fine rifles and one pistol signed A. & W. Lamb that I believe were made during that period.Anderson Lamb built his on shop and water powered mill in 1847 on Bull Run creek off of Mackay Road. His early rifles as signed A. Lamb. He brought his son into the business in 1866 and all later rifles were signed as A. Lamb & Co. He had a number of apprentices that worked for him over the years including J.M. Wood and Obed Dixon. Anderson Lamb was the most prolific of all Jamestown Gunmakers and more of his rifles survive than by any other maker.In the 1850 census his shop was producing 100 rifles per year. In the 1860 census his shop was producing 200 rifles per year.  His shop stayed open into the 1880's. Anderson Lamb died in 1891.


« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 05:11:29 AM by Ken Guy »