Purchased this L. Ghriskey Musket today in Gettysburg

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by OneFatCat, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. OneFatCat

    OneFatCat New Member

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    I bought this rifle today at an auction in Gettysburg...it is a model 1812 and made by L. Ghriskey of Philadelphia ...has be altered from a flintlock to a percussion ...the stock is marked Maryland ...any idea by looking at the pictures what the value might be?

    OFC

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  2. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    With the cut down stock I'd say between 800-900 +-
  3. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    umm the currant value would be whatever you paid for it...:)
  4. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    Actually, the current valus is the best price you can get for it. I agree with Hawg, 800-900 sounds reasonable. The gun appears to be a bit rough.
  5. BullShoot

    BullShoot New Member

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    Maybe my library is deficient but I don't show any listing for a Model 1812 musket made by Ghriskey of (upside down) Phil ada.
  6. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Check Flayderman. They list Lewis Ghriskey as an independent builder of 1812's.
  7. BullShoot

    BullShoot New Member

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    Thanks, Hawg. I guess my library isn't deficient after all, my energy level just didn't let me peruse the data enough.

    BullShoot
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Ghriskey was one of what Flayderman calls "independent makers" of the Model 1812, and names four: Lewis Ghirskey, of Philadelphia, Elisha Buell, of Marlborough, CT, H. Osborne, of Springfield, MA, and Asa Waters of Millbury, MA. Flayderman gives a value of $2000-4000 for a Ghriskey but only a top of $1750 if converted to percussion. He shows no pictures.

    Waters was later a major contractror for the Model 1836 pistol.

    Apparently those people took old muskets or parts (possibly reject parts) and rebuilt them for sale to militia units and the like, the U.S. always being short on its promise to arm the militia with standard model arms.

    Now some oddities. The trigger guard is obviously a cast replica and could not have been intended for or used by the militia (even by the hicks in Maryland ;) ), since it has no sling swivel. And the style of the eagle on the lockplate was not used in the 1812 era (the earliest I can find is 1838, but maybe I haven't looked hard enough).

    In brief, I am highly skeptical of that musket; I think it was made from parts, but probably not by Griskey and not in the 1812 era.

    Edited to add:

    I checked Reilly's United States Martial Flintlocks, and he shows Ghriskey as having contracted for 100 rifles in 1815. These were full stock "long rifle" type, in .50, with patch boxes and pinned barrels. The lockplate markings are normal (nothing upside down). Of course, the muskets Flayderman describes would not have been for the US and would probably not have been included in Reilly.

    Jim
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  9. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    Hmmm, good call on the trigger guard. I missed that. Is that an eagle or a trick of the light on corrosion? Seems funny they would stamp the name across it.
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    No, it is an eagle. The problem I had is that the "spread wing" eagle was not commonly used prior to about 1838 (as I said, I have not checked all my sources). Before that the style was the so-called "droop wing" eagle with the wings folded and pointing down.

    The stamping over the eagle would be expected if indeed Ghriskey did use reject or scrap parts in building muskets. But the upside down marking, while possible, seems unlikely.

    If the musket was made by Ghriskey, who did the conversion is unknown. The contractors who did those conversions normally just left the original markings and did not put on their own.

    A better picture of the whole lockplate would help.

    Jim
  11. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

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    Possibly a Bannerman????
  12. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I don't think Bannerman was doing much with guns that early, but others were and some still are. It is too bad there is so little information on Ghriskey and some of the other early makers. That is a kind of two pronged sword. On the one hand it is possible to luck onto a fairly rare piece and often at a very good price. On the other hand, it is easier to create a fake out of junk box parts since not many know what a Ghriskey musket is supposed to look like.

    Jim
  13. BullShoot

    BullShoot New Member

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    Jim, I think Deadin was referring to what I, and some others, call a Bannerman Special - a cobbled-together, almost-but-not-quite approximation of a real US Model made using scrapped and surplus parts guns. I used to have one that turned out to be a great competitive shooter, a .58 cal, "nearly CW" model.
  14. OneFatCat

    OneFatCat New Member

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    Jim and Bill thank you for the information ..I'm not real sure what other pictures you might want to see but here are a few more ...

    OFC
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  15. OneFatCat

    OneFatCat New Member

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    Guys I have looked at the lockplate with micro glass and I swear all I can see is an eagle head faced to the left ...there maybe some wings there but I can see them ...I dod however find two marks at the top of the barrel which looks like an "M" and an "P" or maybe an "L" ..I was told (for whats its worth) that most likely this rifle had most all the work done on it from an arsenal because it appears to have been done right (accoring to a dealer in Gettysburg who was at the auction) and that most likely it was carried by a confederate because it was common for them to shorten the barrel

    OFC
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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
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