Antique Muzzleloader

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by dusty, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    I have an old muzzleloader that was passed down from my great-grandfather who came to America in 1860. Family legend has it that he brought this piece with him. It appears that it was originally a flintlock but somewhere along the way it was converted to a percussion firearm. The stock has been extended which makes me think that the piece may be quite old.

    Markings: an archiepiscopal cross (two horizontal on one vertical member)
    script name, H Schafer followed by Mayence

    I believe Mayence is a town/city in Germany.

    This much information may give the pro enough to identify the piece and possible age.

    I am fairly sure the conversion (if that is actually what was done) decreased the value of the piece. However, so that some determination can be made I add the following description:

    Wood: dark and appears to be beryl wood extending full length to the end of the barrel. The wood is capped at the muzzle by two inlayed white rings (possibly ivory) and a 2 inch piece of dark wood which is straight grained.
    The forearm has recessed engraving in the wood with dimples throughout, spaced at about 3/8 inch. This artwork is also present on the grip. The stock has a cheekpiece for a right-handed shooter.

    Brass: the trigger guard is brass with decorative "flourish" both ahead and behind the trigger. The rear extention of the trigger guard also has a scroll of brass. The ramrod has a brass cap and the wood appears to be ebony. There is brass inlay scrollwork on the left side of the reciever (the side opposite the hammer).

    The piece has a hair trigger and set trigger.

    That should be enough for now. Any information would be greatly appreciated
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  2. hrf

    hrf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3,062
    Welcome to TFF.

    Mayence is (or was) another spelling of Mainz, across the Rhine from Wiesbaden.

    Clear photos would help confirm if it was converted from flintlock, and the condition.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    That is good info, but not enought to help identify the gun. Can you provide good clear pictures of the markings and both sides of the lock and breech areas, as well as pictures of the buttstock and muzzle area. An overall picture would be good, also.

    FWIW, Mayence is the French name for Mainz; the use of that spelling on something made there might date it to the Napoleonic era c. 1800 when the area was under French control. I can't find that name for any location elsewhere.

    Jim
  4. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Thanks for the reply. Now I know a little more about the history of this piece. I'll submit photos as soon as I get the camera charged up.
  5. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Oooopssss. I think I replied in the wrong place.
  6. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Thanks for the reply, Jim. I'm working on posting photos of the piece and looking forward to any information you or others may pass on.
  7. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    Attached are photos of the piece I inquired about.

    Attached Files:

  8. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21

    Attached Files:

    • gun2.jpg
      gun2.jpg
      File size:
      130.1 KB
      Views:
      288
  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    Good pics, but how about closeups of the lockplate, the marking, and the sideplate (opposite the lock plate).

    Jim
  10. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    (laughing out loud here.) You're too fast for me. I'm still struggliing with re-sizing and uploading. Here's some more.

    Attached Files:

  11. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    and some more

    Attached Files:

  12. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,153
    Can't tell from your pics, but does there appear to be plugged screw holes where indicated on the attached photo?

    Attached Files:

  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    Even though plugged holes are not obvious in the pictures, I have no doubt that the rifle was converted from flint to percussion. The fit (or lack of it) of the lockplate to the bolster, and the whole style of the rifle indicate a percussion conversion of a rifle that was originally flintlock and made well before the percussion era. My WAG would be 1750 or even earler.

    Jim
  14. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    wow, Buffalo Chips, you have a good eye - i wouldn't have noticed it from the photo.

    but, no, they are not plugs. what you see are (i don't know what to call it) patina spots. but it's iron, not brass or bronze, so it's really not patina. maybe i should use the more technical term, "goober".
  15. dusty

    dusty New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    21
    reply to Jim

    you've confirmed my suspicion that it was a conversion. the barrel has obvious "rifling", if you will let me call it that. you can see in the photo of the head-on shot that the groves are quite deep. i inspected with my bore light, and as far as i could see down, the rifling was continuous.

    my question is this: i have always assumed that flintlocks were smoothbore rifles. so, what am i looking at?

    now, given that we know the approximate age and that it is a conversion, i have to ask if it has value or does the conversion null everything?

    finally, if it has value, can you give me an idea of what that might be, and, if i'm so inclined, where would be a good place to put it up for sale?
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Antique Muzzleloader 1800's Dec 12, 2011
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Antique 4 Bore Muzzleloader Value ?? Jul 31, 2005
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Please help ID, name and value this antique pistol Nov 27, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Antique S&W .38 filigree barrell, stag(?) stock Nov 27, 2014
The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum Antique European 22 single shot Sep 11, 2014

Share This Page