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 Active Member

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

    Buffalochip 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
  16. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    OFC, no offense intended bro but you seem all too willing to believe something a dealer tells you just because he's a dealer. A dealer will tell you anything to get you to buy something. Some are more scrupulous than others but theres a whole lot of them that will lie their butts off to sell you something. There are probably almost as many C.W. fakes out there than there are the real thing. There's more C.W. fakes than fakes from any other part of American history. If you're going to buy C.W. relics you need to know exactly what you're looking at and don't listen to any stories associated with it if it has no provenance to back it up.
  17. BullShoot

    BullShoot New Member

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    And more Confederate fakes than Union fakes.
  18. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Are you guys trying to tell me my Uberti SAA with "CSA" on it is a fake? It is just like the one John Wayne carried in that Civil War movie. And I have the M1 carbine Grant carried at Gettysburg and I know it is authentic, because it has his initials, U.S., right on it.

    Seriously, OFC, it looks to me like the eagle's right wing starts above the "I" in Ghriskey and goes up and out toward the hammer, coming to a point above the "H" and the "R". The presence of the overstamped eagle would be consistent with the indication that Ghriskey used old or reject parts, but that style of eagle would be wrong for the 1812 era. The conversion, far from being either well done or an armory conversion is neither. The hammer is crude even by the standards of contract conversions and was certainly never made at Springfield or Harpers Ferry. It looks like the unfinished cast hammers sold by Dixie. Further, it does not meet the nipple squarely, something necessary in a serious conversion. Could it be Confederate, done by some southern gunsmith? Yes, but there is no proof of that and in the antique business, guns or other objects, a "story" is just that, and of no value.

    (Yep, Bullshoot, I know what a Bannerman special is; they tend to blossom every summer in the antique shops around here.)

    Jim
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  19. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Member

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    Good grief Jim, Single Action Armys weren't around until 1830 or so, long after the CW--don't you know anything? And I really find it hard to believe Grant carried an M1 carbine at Gettysburg--I have pictures of him holding the Garand.
  20. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    You would be surprised at how many guys I tell that story to who don't even know that Grant wasn't at Gettysburg, being a bit busy at Vicksburg at the time. And didn't the Civil War end in 1776 or something? I have to ask a high school student, maybe the same one who told me the Revolutionary War was against France.

    Jim
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