Author Topic: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?  (Read 5673 times)

Offline 120RIR

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John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« on: December 28, 2016, 10:09:01 PM »
Hi Guys -

I would kill for a lovely all-original Bucks County rifle and I recently spotted one reported to be from John Schuler.  At first it "looks" beautiful but after comparing it to other examples I'm starting to get a little skeptical.  You'll see it listed here:

http://www.antiquegunroom.net/

To my generally un-schooled eye, there's much to like but then I considered the quality of the patchbox engraving which is very crude and very much unlike others I've seen attributed to him.  Also, the carved line on the stock surrounding the patchbox is pretty uneven - also seemingly inconsistent with others I've seen (although admittedly not handled).  Lastly, the incised carving behind the cheek piece is relatively crude also.  Are we looking at a poorly "enhanced" otherwise original Schuler/Bucks County rifle or am I just being too critical?  I'd much rather see what I see instead of what I want to see!

Offline louieparker

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 01:25:01 AM »
I wouldn't comment  to the maker and it may not be the finest example known. But to me it sure looks like an honest gun and I like that....LP

Offline Tom Currie

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2016, 05:49:40 AM »
120RIR, I'd agree mostly with your assessment. A nice original rifle with mostly crude engraving and carving details. Today we mostly see the finer surviving examples so it's a bit hard to say how many were once made in this fashion. The trigger guard is not what I'd expect to see on a finer rifle.

Offline Buck

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2016, 02:25:41 PM »
120RIR,

Finest example, thats the typical overture of every long rifle sales pitch. I would agree with Louie, it's honest and appealing.

Buck
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 02:35:29 PM by Buck »

Spinner

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2016, 05:30:22 PM »
The Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA has a couple of rifles in storage that are very similar to the one pictured. Same level of carving and same crude "propeller" design on the patchbox lid (that looks a little like moose horns).

John Shuler and partner, William Thomas had a gunsmithing business in Milford Twp. Bucks County from 1800 - 1802. There were, probably, more workers there and these guns may have been produced at that time. Certainly not up to the level of Shuler's carving and engraving.

We tend to assume these rifles were made by one person but it's quite logical that different hands were involved. These moderate quality, unsigned pieces may be examples of early production items . They were in business to make a living.

Shuler signed his work. Usually his intitials JS would appear on the patchbox lid or barrel and, sometimes on the lock. One fully signed example is in the Ft. Ticonderoga museum. I would not assume Shuler made anything that wasn't signed - particularly anything at that level of quality.

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2016, 05:31:14 PM »
That's a pretty charming rifle.  I'm not so sure I'd attribute it to John Shuler but on the other hand I have seen some pieces with his signature that were not as "fine" in execution as others, so quite possibly the guy had others working in his shop.  There seems to be an overlap with a lot of these Bucks makers and I think there were probably quite a few more 'unnamed' makers building the same type/style of rifle than those that are currently known.  If vast quantities of Bucks Co. records had not been lost in a 19th century fire, we'd probably know of quite a few more 'names.'  I would personally view this as an unnamed maker rather than attribute it to Shuler, so take that for what it's worth, jmho.

I really like the lock on this one; there appears to be a name engraved on the lock and it would probably indicate the maker as quite a few of those Bucks guys appeared to be making their own locks.  The ad writeup states that it's illegible but possibly with closer examination something more could be made of it.
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Offline JCKelly

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2016, 05:32:17 PM »
That site has a wonderful John Hagy (rifle). Kindig says "Haga" Anyway I looked hard until I realized I was counting Zeros wrong.

Obsolete creature that I am I would have thought in the vicinity of $15,000 - $20,000 might be about right.

Is that $50K figure really what a decent Haga/Hagy/Hagi brings now?


Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2016, 05:32:42 PM »
Ha "Spinner" you beat me to it!  I was wondering if you were still around here and was hoping you'd chime in on these Bucks threads!  ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 05:33:20 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
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Offline Buck

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2016, 07:24:11 PM »
JCKelly,

I would opine that those prices are a bit high.

Buck

 

Spinner

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2016, 11:39:52 PM »
Eric, this is, probably the most frustrating "school" of American Longrifle builders. From viewing guns made by Shuler, Verner, "AP", some Weicker, Daub, Hersh, and others you'd swear they were in the same shop using the same stock pattern and dipping into a common box of hardware. The carving details, side opening patchbox, unique patchbox release, long ramrod pipes, extended entry pipe, and short, open nose cap are all frustratingly similar.

And, then just when you think you've seen it all, one shows up with a short entry pipe and "Delaware Daisy" patchbox. Then there's one with relief carving. It's really a shame about the records. They would have gone a long way towards making sense of this group of guns.

All that being said they are one of the most stylish 'schools" of that period, and one of the most easily identified.

Offline rlm

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2017, 05:45:23 PM »
Mr. Kelly,  Buck,  the prices asked for this group of Kentucky are certainly not for the faint of heart. But it's seldom that you run across guns in such pristine condition.

Offline Buck

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2017, 02:43:52 AM »
rlm,

The rifles appear to be nice pieces, pristine I can't say from photos. If you would like I can send you my thoughts in a PM, I can't speak for Mr. Kelly but I would be more than happy to give you an explanation as to my conclusion.

Buck
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 02:44:14 AM by Buck »

Offline JTR

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2017, 04:20:13 AM »
rlm,

The rifles appear to be nice pieces, pristine I can't say from photos. If you would like I can send you my thoughts in a PM, I can't speak for Mr. Kelly but I would be more than happy to give you an explanation as to my conclusion.

Buck

I'd be interested in your conclusion, if you'd be so kind.
John
John Robbins

Offline Buck

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2017, 04:51:48 AM »
JTR,

I will oblige you Sir.

It's 2017, and these rifles are at 2009 prices.

1.) John Hagy was a solid builder, but not one who is considered  one of the "Grand Masters / Artisan" of the Long Rifle. In other words his work is not comparable to Beck, Bonewitz, Armstrong, Schroyer, etc. That price is what the Grand Builders are fetching on a really good day.

2.) The Schroyers a great gun - condition. I explained it above.

rlm, unfortunately that is the reality of it. Many of us here wish the demand and those prices would return.


Buck   
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 05:01:35 AM by Buck »

Offline JTR

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2017, 07:10:55 PM »
Thank you, sir. I can understand the price point.

I thought you might have meant that something despicable and irreparable had been done to it, like a small piece of wood being added or a converted lock!  ;D

John
John Robbins

Offline Buck

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2017, 03:07:35 AM »
JTR,

You are welcome! ;)

Buck

Offline Stan

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Re: John Schuler Rifle - Bucks Co. - Legit?
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2017, 03:42:50 AM »
Based on some Yeager rifles I have & have studied, the lock is most probably imported from Germany. imho Stan
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 03:43:54 AM by Stan »