Unsigned Jacob Lauck, Winchester, VA ca 1830
Jacob, Son of Simon Lauck, was born in Winchester in 1794, trained in his father’s shop, and worked there as a gunsmith for many years after his brothers John & William (also gunsmiths) died in 1826. There are many Lauck rifles signed “J Lauck” and a few signed “Jac Lauck”. I have seen none signed by William; he was a whitesmith as well. This example is most certainly by Jacob as he worked well into the percussion period whereas both John & William died during the flintlock period. Jacob died in 1875.
The rifle exists in original pristine untouched condition with decorative details typical on better Lauck rifles. The engraved oval silver cheek piece inlay, the brass vent pick plate, and deeply sculptured stock carving are all signatures of the Lauck family. The 4-petal flower patchbox is nicely engraved; the lid release is in the upper hinge section; another Lauck family signature. The lock is original to the rifle and the stock is very nice curly maple with an original surface.
Always cared for and stored in a favorable environment the condition of this rifle is without apology; as good as it gets for a nearly 200 year old rifle.
Pictured in Whisker "Gunsmiths of Virginia"
Photo Credit Mark Elliott