Author Topic: Paulmer, Jacob S. 20200623  (Read 4558 times)

Offline Mark Elliott

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Paulmer, Jacob S. 20200623
« on: October 04, 2020, 10:57:50 PM »
There is no signature on the barrel or elsewhere on the rifle. Barrel is almost 38 long, with a caliber fit for a .380 round ball. Originally made for percussion.

This rifle is the work of either Jacob Paulmer or George Wareham. Both men were from Stark County, Ohio originally. Wareham trained under Jacob Paulmer, married one of his daughters, and later moved to DeKalb Co., Indiana in early 1850s, where Paulmer had previously moved just prior to 1850. The gun is either a late work by Paulmer in Indiana circa 1855-1860, or perhaps a mid-period work by Wareham circa 1845-1855. Their rifles look earlier than they actually are...both men still used relief carving as late as 1850s, and large, engraved patchboxes much later.  The lock is a George Goulcher lock. There are no carvings beside a line on the cheekpiece and a line on each side of the buttstock.

The box engraving actually looks more like a late 1855-1860 Paulmer rifle to me, as does the nice touch at the front sight, but the lack of precision in the border engraving in the finial hints at Wareham's hand...or an old Paulmer who is getting jittery at detail work. Check the lock plate closely. Sometimes Paulmer engraved his initials on the lock plate when he did not sign his rifles. The butt plate with the deep filing on the top extension is definitely their work. Probably a late Jacob S. Paulmer made in Indiana about 1855-1860.

Paulmer was noteworthy for continuing to relief  carve his rifles well into the 1850s in Indiana and use large, heavily engraved patchboxes well into the late 1850s. Jacob Paulmer always spelled his name in the earlier manner as "Paulmer," but most of his children, and second wife, switched to the shorter "Palmer." He had at least two sons who worked as gunsmiths, oldest son John, and a younger son Eli, who worked with Paulmer during his later years in Indiana.

While working in Stark Co., Ohio, Paulmer had George Wareham as an apprentice. Wareham married Paulmer's daughter and moved to DeKalb Co., Indiana in the late 1840s. Paulmer followed Wareham to DeKalb Co., IN, a couple of years later. Wareham's early work mimicked Paulmer's work, but Wareham was an inferior engraver, and more quickly went to generic percussion rifles in Indiana. Paulmer's small farm on Lentz Lake in DeKalb Co. is still discernible. He sighted in his new rifles shooting out toward the lake. An old, almost dead apple tree still marks where his house once stood.