Author Topic: Thoughts on Two Fowlers  (Read 1168 times)

Offline eleejr

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Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« on: October 31, 2021, 07:03:13 PM »
I recently came upon these and would value your collective thoughts.  The maple-stocked fowler is dated 1777 on the lockplate and is marked Chapin on the barrel. The fore-end is missing as are many of the exterior lock parts. The other is unmarked and notably cruder than the first, with brass barrel bands.  Apologies for mixing the photos, but circumstances did not permit separating them.  I'm not seeking their value, simply trying to place them in some sort of historical and stylistic context.

Thanks!
































Offline Hlbly

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2021, 08:36:38 PM »
My thoughts are ďWish they were in my collectionĒ!

Offline Avlrc

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2021, 09:54:45 PM »
WOW, that carving is unique , dont I believe I  seen that before.  It looks like a Hudson Valley Fowler, but need better & more pics.  You are  fortunate.  Thanks for sharing. 

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2021, 12:07:16 AM »
Mark, I think that you called it correctly. The maple stocked gun fits the description of a Hudson Valley gun. If we could get a barrel length it would be nice. Both are fine guns and are worth some conservation/restoration. My thanks to eleejr for posting the photos of his discoveries.
Dick

Online rich pierce

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2021, 01:25:06 AM »
Iím not ready to categorize or assign the carved gun to a region. Some aspects are unique and others suggest New England origins to me. Iíd like some New England fowler experts to chime in. New pictures taken on a clean background with just one gun at a time would help a lot. Iím not sure if there is a picture of the top of the buttplate for this one but Iíd like to see it. Iíve taken the liberty of working on some of the photos.














Andover, Vermont

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2021, 03:28:03 AM »
 Chapin is a known gunsmith. I donít recall hearing of guns marked by him that were rifles. One of the tradegun books has an extremely long smoothbore signed by him. I donít think he was an American gunsmith. In fact I think he made high end fowlers, and chiefs grade trade guns.
 The other gun could be a lower end musket, but with no name on it, and no proof marks, it might be an early replica thats had a hard life.

  Hungry Horse

Online rich pierce

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2021, 04:00:55 AM »
The carved gun is a composite gun to some extent. That is, there is a high probability that some used parts were part of the build. The barrel or lock or both could have been on another gun previously. Itís a composite gun stocked in curly maple. That usually makes it American made. I would keep an open mind on any attributions. Very unusual combination of features.
Andover, Vermont

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2021, 06:43:21 AM »
Rich, you just described a Hudson Valley Fowler! Almost seem to have been 'parts' guns. Still want to know how long the barrel is on it. Also, I have seen a number of HV guns with odd additions, such as this one has on the wrist. The plain guns is also a 'parts' gun and and may have been built according to need.
Dick

Online rich pierce

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2021, 03:01:36 PM »
Dick, youíre probably right. The carving on the wrist has me derailed!  The sideplate is a design often used on New England guns but thatís not much to go on. The buttstock clearly fits in the HVF range.
Andover, Vermont

Offline conquerordie

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2021, 03:24:31 PM »
I don't think HVF when I see it, but a long Fowler from NYC or NJ area. Looks too English in style and less Dutch to me. Trigger guard is Dutch-ish. But the rest looks English-ish.

Offline eleejr

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2021, 03:31:58 PM »
My thanks for rearranging the images - if I am able to acquire these I will definitely post additional and, I hope, better photos. I will also try to determine the length of both barrels and the bore diameter of each.  I believe both guns are composites - the lock on the Hudson Valley fowler appears to be Briitish and is stylistically similar to an early Brown Bess. The other one appears to have been put together in a hurry - possibly a cherry stock, no plate around the trigger, and brass barrel bands that look as though they might be from a Dutch musket. Stay tuned!

Offline smart dog

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2021, 03:01:29 PM »
Hi,
How long is the barrel on the military or quasi-military gun?  The brass barrel bands look to be from a Dutch musket of carbine but the band with the sling mount is put on backwards.  I think the lock could be from a mid-18th century Dutch musket or carbine.  The lock on the other gun is interesting because it clearly looks like a British military lock but the engraved date is the question.  Britain stopped engraving dates on locks after 1764 so there would be none with a 1777 date.  Moreover, when dated they also engraved the contractor name or "TOWER".  So the "1777" was added to that lock at a later date and not by ordnance if it is British.   The side plate design is sometimes found on New England fowlers as Rich wrote previously.  The stock definitely has a Hudson River look though.  I would like to see full legth photos.

dave
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Offline eleejr

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2021, 12:46:51 AM »
The 1777 date is clear, however, I could not see any evidence of a crown or Tower marking.  As before, should these guns come into my possession I will definitely post clearer and better information and images. 

Offline smart dog

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2021, 03:24:41 PM »
The 1777 date is clear.....

Hi,
That may be an indication it was added later, perhaps much later.

dave
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Offline eleejr

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Re: Thoughts on Two Fowlers
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2021, 05:49:58 PM »
That's certainly possible, although these were allegedly found (like another posting on this site) in the wall of a house.  I don't know why people felt the need to put all these fowlers behind plaster but it seems to have been a popular trend at one point. In any case, more to follow if and when I am able to procure them.