Signed "J Shoaff & Co" Franklin County, Pennsylvainia ca 1830
Yet unidentified J Shoaff made this rifle in Franklin or Cumberland County at the end of the flintlock period. A number of Shoaff family members are present in the area but so far none have been identified as a gunsmith. The rifle remains in untouched attic condition with no restoration.
The rifle has always been percussion and retains its original lock. The 42 inch rifled .45 cal barrel is the original length. The eliptical inlay near the muzzle serves as an escutcheon; the others are decorative only. Excellent quality curly maple was used and is somewhat obscured by the original finish. Unusual silver inlays are on and below the cheekpice. There is a crack in front of the trigger guard and under the lock. A good restorer can stabilize these and replace the missing inlays bringing the rifle back to its origianl appeal. The mortises of the missing inlays have sharp edges indicating recent loss. Any information on the gunsmith is appreciated.
Available at $3,950.00
Signed "G B" Uknown, Botetourt or Rockbridge County, VA ca 1810
There are 3 rifles signed similarly with stamped initials " G B" all from the tri-state region of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. To date no one has definitively attributed these rifles, however, the name George Bean has been put forth by the owner of one of these 3. George Bean died in Franklin Co, TN in 1818. This rifle relates to others from Botetourt/Rockbridge County area, ie. John Wilson, J Crider, John Davidson, and the early "J C" rifle. Common details of the GB rifle as it relates to these other makers are a faceted comb, a silver inlay above the patchbox finial, draw loops the head ofwhich appears as a forestock escucheon, the patchbox plates extend beyond the edge of the butt plate, and a triangular butt stock architecture. This is a fine, well-made rifle of the South.
The rifle has been converted to percussion using the original lock and having a patent breech added to the barrel rather than the usual drum and nipple. This is the only change made to this well-used but well cared-for rifle. The rifled barrel is 43.5 inches and about .40 cal. The patchbox lid release is a button located on the upper plate of the patchbox like rifles of a similar period in North Carolina. The condition and rarity of this example will insure its value.
Available at $19,950.00
Thanks to Wallace Gusler for research on the GB rifle group
Signed "G Slaysman" George Slaysman, Mifflin County, PA ca 1820
A highly artistic gunsmith, George Slaysman worked in Mifflin County in his early years. He moved to Huntingdon and then to Jefferson County, PA where he died in 1862 at age 80.
The rifle exhibits a wonderful array of artisitc ability. The patchbox is beautifully designed and engraved as is the eagle cheekpiece inlay. His carving behind the cheekpiece is well designed and executed. The toe plate is extraordinary and well done. The lock is signed in script "G Slaysman" as is the barrel which is restored to 43.75 inches. This decorative rifle has been well taken care of and professionally restored with all the important artistic components intact. This is a pleasing rifle by a rare and esteemed maker.
Available at $7,950.00
Unsigned John Wilson Associated, Botetourt Co, VA or Middle Tennessee (The Cumberland) ca 1820
A long slender flintlock Kentucky rifle of modest decoration in excellent condition. Made by a yet unknown gunsmith working in Botetourt County, VA or Central Tennessee (The Cumberland). Identifiable by its faceted comb, diamond shape lock bolt plate, long 2-screw barrel tang, simple lower butt mold, and deeply sculpted cheek piece. The flintlock is in unaltered condition.
Acquired from the family in Kentucky by Shelby Gallien and pictured in his book, he attributes it to Scott County Kentucky, north of Lexington. The .42 cal rifled barrel is 46.5 inchges long, it's original length. The stock retains its original surfaces. All brass mounts are original. Attribues are pleasing architecture, desirable condition, and unembellished simplicity.
Available at $8,450.00
Photo Credit Mark Elliot