Author Topic: Silas Allen, Jr 091229-2  (Read 13921 times)

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Silas Allen, Jr 091229-2
« on: January 01, 2010, 05:44:23 PM »
“ The Rising Sun” Gun , by Gunmaker  Silas Allen, Jr. (1785-1868) @1825 , Shrewsbury, Mass.
1.   Apprentice to John Mason and master to apprentices Josh and David  Hapgood.
2.   Recognized as one of New England’s finest craftsman
3.   Known to have made guns ( rifles, pistols and fowlers) for the trade as well as military arms
4.   An almost identical “Half” stock resides in the Metropolitan Museum of NY collection and is described in  “The Gun Report” of March, 1976. Though this rifle is not signed , the one in the Met is.
5.    A third similar rifle is described in Muzzleblast, December 1988 “ A Rifle of Distinction” by R. Bourdon


The "mate" to this gun resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Setting aside the gorgeous silver wire inlay work for a moment, the gun exhibits classic New England characteristics in its cherry stocking, checkered grip and forestock areas, "football" shaped lock bolt washer, single trigger, guard with scroll at rear and small "tit" or projection on front extension. The patchbox shows great originality in its outline, and again, classic New England engraving.  The octagon-to-round barrel, while not always used on New England rifles, is frequently associated with them.

The silver wire work is also classic New England in form, but more extensive and elaborate - particularly on the cheek side - than found on almost any other New England gun... with an exception noted in the Metropolitan Museum. It is a superlative example of the best of New England gunmaking. I would like to see a close-up shot of the silver vertical line on the forestock, to see if it is a two piece stock joint at that point, or simply a silver detail.

This is an excellent New England rifle with superb wire work.  As a representative New England rifle, it would be hard to improve on this one.

The forestock silver band is decorative only.


This terrific example needs to go to the library with as much information on Silas Allen Jr. that can be accumulated. It would be a 5 star addition with the proper documents that tell us about his life and times. It would be great to know who trained this artist. The whole story will simply make me want to move back to Buffalo and collect New England guns. If my memory serves me right Bill Guthman wrote an article a number of years ago about New England guns. I'll spend a little time tomorrow trying to find it and figure out a way to post the article or provide a summary unless XXXX beats me too it.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 05:10:42 PM by Tim Crosby »
In Memory of Lt. Catherine Hauptman Miller 6/1/21 - 10/1/00 & Capt. Raymond A. Miller 12/26/13 - 5/15/03...  They served proudly.