Author Topic: Volger, Christopher North Carolina  (Read 11394 times)

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Volger, Christopher North Carolina
« on: December 14, 2008, 10:45:00 PM »
Volger, Christopher      North Carolina

This history was written by Michael Briggs

The decorative arts made by the Moravians in Salem, N.C. are especially prized by antique collectors and students in the Piedmont area of North Carolina. Their furniture, pottery, silver spoons, textiles, and longrifles are all highly sought after and can all be studied at the wonderful museum that is Old Salem and M.E.S.D.A. (Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts).There were several early gunsmiths that have been identified as having worked at the small settlements located in the Wachovia tract of land (100,000 acres) purchased by the Moravians in 1753. Andreas Betz set up a gunshop in Bethabara in 1754. John Valentine Beck set up a gunshop in the same community in 1764. Peter Christ joined him in 1772. Jacob Loesch set up a  gunshop in Salem in 1781. He took young Christoph Vogler in as an apprentice in 1784. Joesch moved to Fayetteville in 1787 and Vogler became the full time gunsmith in Salem.Christoph Vogler was born in 1765 at Broadbay. His family moved to Salem, N.C. in 1774. He became the father of what we consider to be the Salem School Longrifle today. He was a full time gunsmith until his death in 1827.The late John Bivins credits Christoph with teaching all three of his sons to be gunsmiths,  Nathaniel born 1804; Gottlieb, and Timothy born 1806. He also taught his two nephews John Vogler born 1784, and George Vogler born 1789. Bivins also believed that Christoph Vogler also took in apprentices that were not Moravians and taught them to make Salem Style rifles including Henry Ledford and Andrew Long of Davidson County and George Reavis of Yadkin County.The rifle that I have posted photos of below is attributed to Christoph Vogler. I purchased it from Bill Ivey in 2006. The rifle has a wide butt (over 2) and features a wonderful Salem style stock architecture. The rifle features his typical Eagle style patchbox with guilloche or rope work style side plates, Vogler style barrel tang, and wonderful fore-stock carved molding. It also has a single incised carved line along the comb that ends with a beavertail tab that is mostly worn off. The rifle still shows remains of the beavertails behind the lock mortise. I think the rifle was made by Christoph Vogler in the 1790-1800 period.

                                                                         Michael Briggs

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