Author Topic: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger  (Read 1157 times)

Offline Elnathan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1346
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2019, 12:31:08 AM »
Gusler articles:

"One brass riffle gun & bullet moules,” May 2003, p. 61-64.

“The Step Toe Group,” May 2004, p. 6-10.

The May 2004 magazine is sold out, but they can photocopy that article for you. Incidentally, it appears to be missing the last page - I asked and was assured that what I received was the entirety of the article.

Gusler lists the draw length of the BBR as 15 1/2," I believe that this is a typographical error. Also, those were written some 15-16 years ago and evidently his thinking has changed somewhat in the interim (which may be why there are discrepancies in my attempt to summarize Gusler's theories above - I'm mixing two different ideas together in my head.)

A couple of interesting points about the BBR that aren't easily to see in Shumway's photos, BTW: there is no spring in the patchbox (and 145 has a spring attached to the bottom of the box, not sticking out from under the hinge); the rear sight was an adjustable sight with folding leaves; and the working surface of the cheekpiece is slightly convex, not concave.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying...cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. -Robert A. Heinlein

Offline heinz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2019, 02:55:45 AM »
photo of the butt, cheekside on the original BBR.  Chip carving are those small v-shaped cuts along the border of the butt plate. 

I love them too :-)


kind regards, heinz

Offline Stophel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4265
  • Chris Immel
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2019, 03:09:50 AM »
Everybody has gone attribution crazy lately.  I'm sure it increases the value and saleability of the gun...  Honestly, I generally disregard attributions, unless there is something REALLY solid to back it up.
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline rich pierce

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12593
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2019, 03:25:30 AM »
Everybody has gone attribution crazy lately.  I'm sure it increases the value and saleability of the gun...  Honestly, I generally disregard attributions, unless there is something REALLY solid to back it up.

Like a signature?   ;D
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Stophel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4265
  • Chris Immel
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2019, 05:45:14 AM »
"I attribute this gun to Joseph Jingleheimer, Sr. , because if you look here, very closely, this small engraved swirl is somewhat similar to the engraved swirls found on guns made by Joseph Jingleheimer III"....
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline rich pierce

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12593
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2019, 05:49:52 AM »
Regardless of degrees of certainty, both those guns are funky cool. What an amazing variety there is among longrifles, no matter the timeframe.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Ian Pratt

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 340
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2019, 08:20:10 AM »
So, if the BBG and it's sister are Honakers, where did all of the chip carving go on the later guns?
http://www.flintriflesmith.com/Antiques/Honaker.htm


Offline Stophel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4265
  • Chris Immel
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2019, 09:44:05 AM »
Like a signature?   ;D

I don't even believe all the signatures.   8)
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline Mike Brooks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9882
    • Mike Brooks Gunmaker
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2019, 04:59:00 PM »
So, if the BBG and it's sister are Honakers, where did all of the chip carving go on the later guns?
http://www.flintriflesmith.com/Antiques/Honaker.htm
Ok, somebody point out to me how the BBG and this gun relate to each other...I' missing it...... ???
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Elnathan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1346
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2019, 07:17:40 PM »
I don't see much relationship between the carving on the Honaker piece and the BBR/RCA 145 pieces, either. However, may I gently remind the members here that the attribution to Honaker is not based on carving design, but on architectural and construction details? Chip carving doesn't seem to have had much of a following here in the US, and folk-art carving is pretty rare on rifles in general, even in places where it was common on other objects, so it is quite possible that it disappeared simply because the customer base didn't like it. Stranger things have happened.

Seems to me the cheekpiece construction is more significant than the carving. I've seen a German smoothbore with a near-identical cheekpiece, which the owner believed to have been made in the same shop that trained the guy that made BBR, and I think that if one wanted to challenge the Honaker attribution one might ask why he was still making this very niche style of cheekpiece in 1771.

On the subject of attributions based on small details:

Once upon a time, I went and got a master's degree in Medieval history, specializing in the period between Late Antiquity and the end of the Viking age popularly known as the Dark Ages. As so happens, this period has extremely few written sources, no first-hand accounts, and depends a lot on archeology. Accordingly, anyone who works in this area gets very familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of archeological sources and has to become good at looking for small clues in stuff like poetry and chronicles written with obvious agendas generations later. An off-hand comment or the writer's assumption of knowledge on the part of the reader can be quite illuminating with these kind of sources.

Now there are many good historians in this hobby, including several on this board (*waves at Eric Kettenberg, Bob Leinemann, and Shelby Galien, to name some that spring to mind*), but so far as I've seen Gusler seems to be fairly unique in that he notices as significant small things like an early rifle specified as having brass mounts, or a pattern of rifles listed together with a set of accouterments complete except for powderhorns. That is close reading the way Medievalists do it, and I'd like to see more of it. Like everyone else, he has his biases and idiosyncracies that have to be taken into account, and I certainly don't expect people to accept everything he says without question (I don't), but I don't think that his overall approach is out of line with standards of historical writing (What he doesn't do is use the usual verbiage of uncertainty that historians  usually (see what I did there?) use to insulate themselves from their conclusions. That makes him easier to dismiss as a crank, I think.)

Unlike the sciences, to the extent that there is any progress in historical knowledge, that progress is made primarily through re-examination of old evidence rather than the discovery of new sources. Looking at available data, drawing conclusions, and then using those conclusions as presuppositions to make more complex arguments, only to have the whole edifice torn down and rebuilt when someone else notices something you missed or assumed is what historians do, ladies and gentlemen. Eventually, at least in theory, an framework arises that proves sturdy enough in the face of criticism that it can be accepted as true. A healthy dose of skepticism is an integral part of the process, but unless someone is willing to go out on a limb and draw conclusions based on the available evidence we will never get anywhere.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying...cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. -Robert A. Heinlein

Offline R.J.Bruce

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2019, 08:23:28 PM »
Thanks to all that have replied to this thread!!

This is what I had hoped would happen.

Get all YE OLDE KNOWLEDGEABLE  ONES cranked up on coffee or expresso, and let the ideas fly!!

That's how I get to learn, and hopefully, others too.

Another question, round-faced English flintlock, Early Ketland flintlock, or some form of Germanic flintlock for a 1766 Honaker rifle?

R.J.Bruce

Offline Ian Pratt

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 340
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2019, 09:19:30 PM »
So, if the BBG and it's sister are Honakers, where did all of the chip carving go on the later guns?
http://www.flintriflesmith.com/Antiques/Honaker.htm
Ok, somebody point out to me how the BBG and this gun relate to each other...I' missing it...... ???

Mike- you'd asked specifically about the chip carving on the later guns. Check out the 4th photo, molding along wrist and around front of the trigger guard. There are others. 

Offline Mike Brooks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9882
    • Mike Brooks Gunmaker
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2019, 09:51:55 PM »
So, if the BBG and it's sister are Honakers, where did all of the chip carving go on the later guns?
http://www.flintriflesmith.com/Antiques/Honaker.htm
Ok, somebody point out to me how the BBG and this gun relate to each other...I' missing it...... ???

Mike- you'd asked specifically about the chip carving on the later guns. Check out the 4th photo, molding along wrist and around front of the trigger guard. There are others.
Ah yes, thank you! @!*% my crooked eyes! I'm ready to agree with a possible Honaker attribution for the BBG, or possibly a  maker  yet unknown that greatly influenced or trained the Honaker family. I wouldn't bet my life the BBG was made by Honaker, but it is very possible.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline rich pierce

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12593
Re: Hans Jacob Honaker/Honegger
« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2019, 10:31:18 PM »
Elnathan, thanks for that background.  Due to my science training, I’ll never get in line with a reasoned attribution unless no other conclusions are possible now or in the future (such as its proven there was only one man on an island and a gun was made there from local materials). Unfortunately there is a monetary bonus for an attributed gun.  The worst and pace-setting example is the attribution of dozens of Reading rifles to Wolfgang Haga.

I really appreciate the architecture of the BBR and related gun and wish there were more examples of guns of that and later periods with similar architecture in addition to the stepped wrist which is a very common feature across a variety of Germanic rifles, and which I find more appealing on robust early rifles.
St. Louis, Missouri