Signed "J * H " John Honaker, Pulaski County, Virginia Ca 1825
This rifle represents the third generation of the Honaker family. John was the son of Abraham Honaker, and grandson of Hans Jacob Honaker of Frederick County, Virginia.
Several distinguishing characteristics place this rifle as one of the best rifles of Southwest Virginia. The scrolled trigger guard is a grand example of the the art of casting likened to the fine castings found on silver tankards, creamers, and teapots from Boston, Philadelphia, and Charleston of an earlier period.
Bird finial patchboxes are an extremely desirable design seen on the best rifles from all areas. This example exceeds most in artistic expression; as the bird of prey has successfully captured its meal and appears confident lending to the rifleman confidence. The restrained engraving design gives the full effect.
Forestock molding enhances the architecture of any rifle but few exhibit such bold and masterful execution as this. The moldings above and below the lock mortise are handled with the same aggeressive technique.
There is no restoration on this rifle. What appears to be a crack from the wrist to the area above the patchbox was actually a flaw in the wood that eventually deteriorated over the years. A screw was placed under the bow of the trigger guard suggesting a need for stabilization. Corrections made since the photography are the tang screw is properly positioned and the toeplate straightened.
The forged iron barrel is .40 calbre and 45 inches long. It has a typical wide rear sight, The unalterd flintlock is signed Joseph Golcher and was purchased by the gunsmith for use on the rifle. Butt stock architecture is typical of the Honaker tradition and seen on rifles made in the region by other gunsmiths as well.
The price reflects the rarity, condition, quality, and desirablility of this rifle.
Ex Coll. Sheffield Clark, Sumpter Priddy, Mike Tuccori, Wallace Gusler (photo credit Mark Elliott)
SOLD 12/2018 to a Descendent