Author Topic: 090210-1  (Read 8979 times)

Offline nord

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« on: April 03, 2009, 07:40:41 PM »
This gun is late, has been cut down, and looks to have been refinished or aggressively cleaned. Inlays are fairly crude as is the patchbox. The general style reminds me somewhat of a Upper Susquehanna piece made in Owego, NY owned by a friend.

Lots of angles, a somewhat confusing and crude set of inlays, and a lack of what I might call "flow". Still an interesting and honest little rifle.



A bit crude perhaps, but it looks basically honest other than some overzealous cleaning and refinishing. The wood repair around the drum suggests that it might have originally had a bolster. Has it been set back? If so, it might have originally been signed and the signature was lost along with that section of barrel. Not all gunsmiths were highly artistic. Some were pretty much self-taught, never serving a formal apprenticeship. This rifle is an example of that, but is still kind of "folk-artsy" in its own way.

I hope you didn't take it that I was recommending we decline the gun. On the contrary! I believe it's an honest homespun piece that was valued enough to be repaired and altered over many years of service.

I see very little that would call to mind any particular maker or school. More an amalgam of features pieced together with no particular theme. Perhaps made by someone with no formal training, but with a good enough eye to remember some of the features of earlier guns.

Both Golden and Silver Age rifles tend to have a theme of sorts. Even the more utilitarian pieces tend to say a bit about themselves. Whether through carving, inlays, or a combination of the two, the maker was usually saying something through the guns he produced.

It would seem that this particular gun carries the memory of earlier pieces, but lacks the continuity placed in them by their makers. Sort of like trying to make a sentence out of a string of random words in the case of this gun.

So... Is the gun honest? In my opinion it is. Should we display the piece? Again, yes! Just because this gun displays more of a primitive (Grandma Moses) touch than we see on guns made by what we consider gifted artisans, it remains a valid example of the art of the long rifle.

My guess is that there really isn't much we can do to quantify a maker or even a particular area of manufacture. I don't see this as a demerit, but more a fact of life 150 years ago.

I actually rather like this rifle.....warts and all!  Your "Grandma Moses analogy is a good one. Somewhere there may be a signed gun with enough similarities to identify this one, who knows?

This is an odd little gun. Lots to comment on. It is well made save for the trigger guard held on with screws rather than pins. Of interest is the pieced on toe indicating that the builder selected a short plank to make the rifle stock. There is a lot to like about the rifle and to save time and space here, I will just go ahead and support posting it for the viewers to see it.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 03:24:02 AM by Dennis Glazener »
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.