Author Topic: John Wilson rifle at RIA  (Read 1778 times)

Offline backsplash75

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 273
John Wilson rifle at RIA
« on: June 06, 2023, 11:19:21 PM »
https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/1043/133/jno-wilson-signed-flintlock-american-long-rifle


Quote
Description:

"Jno Wilson" signed barrel. "DREPPERT" stamped replacement lock. John Wilson is believed to have been active at Craigs Creek in Botetourt County, Virginia, c. 1815 based on another rifle signed "Jno Wilson Craigs Creek BC." Some genealogical records suggest he was born in 1764, married in 1786, and died in 1820.


Offline Sequatchie Rifle

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 958
  • F. & A.M. Helion #1; 3rd SFG(ABN)
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2023, 01:09:31 AM »
What a wonderful rifle!  Thank for posting the photo and link.

Bill
"We fight not for glory, nor riches nor honors, but for freedom alone, which no good man gives up except with his life. Declaration of Arbroath, 1320

Offline Cades Cove Fiddler

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1665
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2023, 03:33:50 AM »
 8) 8) 8)... Molly and Al better jump on this one,... !!!!

Offline Molly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2023, 04:48:51 AM »
We have a Jno Wilson but this one is probably nicer.  This is a slightly controversial maker by our account.  Hubby has been through the county records on tons of Wilsons and nothing there to support any was a gun maker. (Facts be known, there are probably multiple makers with that name and all from the same family) Even went to Augusta county.  Also there is Jno which some say is John or Jon but another recent post identified Jno as Jonathan.  Also a variation in the last name...Wilson or Willson.  One super star in the arena makes claims that I find hard to accept.  I'll not go there out of concern for getting in trouble.  A really highly decorated rifle owned by some dude in KY acquired some time ago is now often at shows.  It's a great rifle and a nice story, just not sure if it 100% factual.  AND, if that's not enough, a local hokie brought over a very nice rifle about a week ago.  Super condition and has a Wilson-esq  signature block and style but the signature is not Wilson.  A real expert, actually 2 experts, claim it is a Botetourt County gun and could be Wilson.

So, add in an 18% fee plus tax plus shipping and this rifle will be over our pay grade.  Bid away!

MAS

Offline backsplash75

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 273
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2023, 08:50:00 PM »
some of the JNO WILSON guns have a barrel inlay with pointed finials for the signature. It would be great if the auction house added images of the signature on this piece.

Offline Hungry Horse

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5245
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2023, 08:52:48 PM »
 My grandmother was a Wilson, whose father was originally from York South Carolina. He had relative up and down the south eastern states. Although his last name was Wilson, family legend says it was originally Willson. There are parts of the family that spell it both ways.

Hungry Horse

Offline Molly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2023, 01:34:28 AM »
I requested photos of the signature and they provided them.  It does not have that feature, just "Jno Wilson" and the Jno was NOT very clear as I recall.  Makes ya wonder.

My take is there are rifles made by someone named Wilson/Willson, but they are not all the same person... different people.  Some are even styled differently.


Offline Hungry Horse

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5245
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2023, 11:57:13 PM »
 Jonathon Willson was a gunsmith from Maryland, but he also worked in N.C. And his guns are known in a couple of different styles.

Hungry Horse

Offline Dennis Glazener

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 19106
    • GillespieRifles
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2023, 01:54:17 PM »
some of the JNO WILSON guns have a barrel inlay with pointed finials for the signature. It would be great if the auction house added images of the signature on this piece.

I have had good luck asking for addtional photos of different rifles. I certainly would try and see if they would oblige your request.
Dennis
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend" - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Molly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2023, 08:38:50 PM »
Just FYI.  I did request a photo of the signature and they did send it but it took about a week.  The typical silver barrel inlay upon which the signature is engraved is NOT on this barrel.  Those I have seen are very artistic with a finial on each end.  This one does not have that.  Not to say is is not a "Jno Wilson/Willison" but simply more like which Jno Wilson.  Smarter people can make that call.

MAS

Offline Seth Isaacson

  • Library_mod
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 890
    • Black Powder Historian
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2023, 04:45:14 PM »
I had them upload a photograph of the barrel signature on this one. If you need additional photographs of items from out auctions, you can send customer service a message through the website or by emailing info@rockislandauction.com

https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/1043/133/jno-wilson-signed-flintlock-american-long-rifle
« Last Edit: June 12, 2023, 06:35:34 PM by Seth I. »
I am the Lead Historian and a Firearms Specialist at Rock Island Auction Co., but I am here out of my own personal interests in muzzle loading and history.
*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are NOT meant to represent those of any other entity unless otherwise expressly stated.*

Offline backsplash75

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 273
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2023, 06:08:45 PM »
Seth: thanks for the barrel image, Molly - sounds reasonable
« Last Edit: June 12, 2023, 07:50:47 PM by backsplash75 »

Offline moseswhite

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2023, 02:51:17 PM »
Could this be a recycled barrel , the rifle doesn't look that early and has a single lock bolt .

Offline Molly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2023, 02:54:18 PM »
Now that's an interesting thought.  The premo Jno Wislon rifle sold several years ago (two times, actually).  Don't know what the price was but the "asking" topped $30,000.  This one is bottom drawer stuff to that one.

Question: Is it a reconversion?

Ans:  "The lock is original but not necessarily original to the gun"

Seems like an answer to a question that was not asked.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2023, 04:22:41 PM by Molly »

Offline Molly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2023, 06:59:45 PM »
Just to add to the confusion....

The highly embellished $30,000 rifle was displayed at the last 2 KRA meetings and the owner claims that Jno was a signer of the Cumberland Pact.  You can find the names listed here: http://www.cumberlandpioneers.com/cumberlandcompact.html    There is a John Wilson listed.  The pact was dated 1780 and if born when claimed Wilson would have been about 20. 

Now, another expert posted this narrative on a display about Jno Wilson:

 


His narrative says the rifle is "signed as such" implication that it is on a silver plate on the barrel.  That is not correct.  Hard to see it but it is the top gun in the photo and there is no silver plate

More importantly however is this rifle does share similarities to the one offered for sale.  But yet clear differences.  Sorry I do not have detailed photos to show those.




Both of these experts have variations on the makers and they both cannot be correct, OR better to say they would not have been made by the same maker.  Yes, each version may be accurate except they were made by different makers.  BTW, Dr. Amos, owner of the one gun, died last week.  He was a highly regarded member of the local community and benefactor of various historic initiatives.

MAS

Offline Tanselman

  • member 2
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1452
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2023, 08:43:25 PM »
The better "J'n Wilson/Willson" rifles are interesting guns, and the couple I've handled look and feel like Virginia rifles... but sometimes owners jump to conclusions about their guns to "complete" a story about them, or better establish the gun in an event or place in history [which increases its value]. This is particularly true when an historic name matches the name on the barrel... then sometimes wishful thinking becomes "fact" before we have documentation to really verify the claimed relationship. It's just part of this fascinating hobby of collecting these old rifles...  but as we often say, "if they could only talk," they might tell us a different story than what we've concluded about them.

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: June 19, 2023, 12:01:35 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Avlrc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1168
    • Hampshire County Long Rifles
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2023, 08:57:47 PM »
If old guns could talk a lot of us would not have anything to speak about,  :)

Offline Bob Roller

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8964
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2023, 01:50:24 AM »
Just FYI.  I did request a photo of the signature and they did send it but it took about a week.  The typical silver barrel inlay upon which the signature is engraved is NOT on this barrel.  Those I have seen are very artistic with a finial on each end.  This one does not have that.  Not to say is is not a "Jno Wilson/Willison" but simply more like which Jno Wilson.  Smarter people can make that call.

MAS
JNO?For John? I had trouble with a capital "I" and "X" when I was in school but an H should be easy? ;D ;D

 Bob Roller

Offline Molly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2023, 03:41:50 AM »
An index of common abbreviations for English given names shows Jon as John and Jno as Jonathan.  Ioh is also shown as an abbreviation for John.  The barrel on the rifle offered for sale is Jno with the "o" in small case but elevated on the signature line.  In all our courthouse searching we focused on John non Johnathan so maybe we overlooks that possibility however there was actually one record using the Jno identification.  As I recall that one record was of a person who came from Orange County NC in the 1770 to 1780 period.  Chased that rabbit but it went no where.  Such abbreviations appear common in all sorts of documents.

BTW, I also know of a retired man now in Florida who comes from Botetourt County who has a signed Jno Wilson rifle.  It has similarities to both the one offered and to ours.  As I recall it was given to his family years ago by the family's of a man who owned it for "YEARS" and he lived on the western Botetourt County mountains, either Price Mountain or Caldwell Mountain.  We wanted to initiate a discussion on it's purchase but the guy is of the opinion that his "musket" deserves a place in the Smithsonian.  I requested photos and he sent some.  Had the gun tied up with string swinging from a nail in his out building.  I would have thought an object of great value as that would have warranted better care ;)

The more I look at and discuss this rifle I think it deserves some consideration.  At the projected price it would not be a bad deal.  But my husband won't buy socks unless he personally inspects them first so buying an gun at auction without a personal inspection is not likely to happen.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2023, 03:46:01 AM by Molly »

Offline Seth Isaacson

  • Library_mod
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 890
    • Black Powder Historian
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2023, 04:58:48 PM »
Jno is also a pretty common abbreviation for John. John Manton guns, for example, are signed "JNO MANTON"
I am the Lead Historian and a Firearms Specialist at Rock Island Auction Co., but I am here out of my own personal interests in muzzle loading and history.
*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are NOT meant to represent those of any other entity unless otherwise expressly stated.*

Offline Avlrc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1168
    • Hampshire County Long Rifles
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2023, 07:37:53 PM »
Hammer Price 1800.

Offline Molly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2023, 10:55:36 PM »
It arrived today and is everything we expected.  It was packed like it was a $100,000 rifle!  UPS delivery was prompt.  Not the best Jno Wilson around but an affordable example.  Signed!!  So much of this rifle fits the characteristics of other Wilson rifles I have seen and photographed.  Yeah yeah a replacement lock and some replacement wood around the lock and cock and a wrist repair BUT all that work would have probably been done long ago.  Wrist is super solid.  Maybe an original ram rod too. I wonder if this repair was done by the same person who did the repair on our George Sites which was found in the County??

So, it is returned to the county of it's making.  We and Jno have a lot of catching up to do so we'll both be up late tonight reviewing it's travels over the past 150 years.

Thanks to Rock Island for a great job all the way around!

MAS

Offline Jacob_S_P

  • Starting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: John Wilson rifle at RIA
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2023, 02:39:20 PM »
Congratulations on your new acquisition. Always an exciting event!
Looking forward to finding something of significance for myself soon!