Author Topic: Nathaniel Oates - Hampshire Co. WV - Attributed (Ref. 090105-6)  (Read 6341 times)

Offline nord

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Nathaniel Oates - Hampshire Co. WV - Attributed (Ref. 090105-6)
« on: January 05, 2009, 11:21:39 PM »
1. Attribution was made from the identical engraved capbox in a picture in Whiskers Va book that he attributes to Nathaniel Oates.

2. Nathaniel Oates
Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 08:16:10 PM    Reply with quote
The gun definitely relates strongly to the one Whisker illustrated. I have not handled an Oates rifle, but presuming Whisker's gun was signed "N. Oates," then this one is most likely his work also. There are a good number of shared individual details between the two rifles, including but not limited to: patchbox outline, very similar engraving on box - both in general pattern and in details, butt architecture, cameo cut at comb where meets wrist, front hair trigger decorative rounded tab on back edge, size/shape of cheekpiece, size/shape of butt plate , etc. My only caveat is how to verify the Whisker gun was signed and not attributed itself. At times Jim relied on owners to advise him of who made the piece he was photographing, and in the process a few over zealous or overly sure owners misled him, and the mistakes would get into print.  XXXX
3. Re: Vett this Hampmshire Attributted gun: Nathaniel Oates
Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 09:55:53 PM    Reply with quote
Responding to XXXX, I wonder if we can label the gun attributed and add his (XXXX's) comments to this gun thread. I think it is a thoughtful and educational analysis and discussion that will be instructive to all relating to how one attempts to "attribute" an unsigned gun.

4.Re: Vett this Hampmshire Attributted gun: Nathaniel Oates
Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 11:52:13 PM    Reply with quote
I have a Hampshire rifle (unsigned) that is almost the duplicate of this gun. There were two makers who predominantly made this style of rifle, Reinhard and Oates. The former's work is a bit on the back woodsey side while Oates was more sophisticated. Reinhard moved on to Ohio eventually leaving the field in WVA to Oates.

Like XXXX, I can't vouch that Whisker had actual facts when ascribing a maker; he usually showed a photo of the signature if there was one. 'Guestimation' isn't good enough, though. However, since there seems to be a fairly large number of these 'two box' guns around, it might be prudent to post this and ask if anyone has further information. There must be some signed pieces out there somewhere that will tell which maker made these rifles.
4. Re: Vett this Hampmshire Attributted gun: Nathaniel Oates
Reply #4 on: Today at 09:33:51 AM    Reply with quote
This weekend I had a chance to share the pictures of this rifle with a KRA member who owns what is probably the best surviving signed Oates rifle. He said that based on everything from architecture, to details in the engraving, how the under cheek box is attached he believes this rifle to also be an Oates with 90% certainty.

Based on his and other comments, I think we should go ahead and add it to the museum as attributed.

I have asked the KRA member to photograph his signed Oates rifle fro us as well.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 03:27:08 PM by Tim Crosby »
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.