C. Gove shotgun, Semple Kentucky, James Constable Shotgun

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by popcan, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. popcan

    popcan New Member

    Feb 17, 2006
    Hi everyone.
    I am in the position of selling off my late father-in-laws collection and have been able to find info on most every thing except a few last ones.
    1. C. Gove double bbl 10 ga. percussion shotgun. I can find some information on Carlos Gove of Denver but not much on guns other than the single shots he modified.

    2. James Constable 16 ga. double bbl percussion shotgun. I can find no info on the maker at all.

    3. Hardest one. Very old fullstock kentucky converted to percussion somewhere along the line, looks like .50 cal lock reads Semple & Sons, Louisville. I have heard through one of my father-in-laws associates that it might be worth a significant amount but can't find anything in print about it or Semple & Sons etc.

    I am a newbie here as you can tell so if you could advise me what kind of info, pictures, measurements are needed to identify these items I would be in your debt.

    There is also an original Alex Henry, a Turner 4 bore, a rifle by Collins and a Turner rifle,(all original) but I'm not researching those right now, but I will have to focus on them soon.
    Thank you for any help you can give me.
  2. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    First we need to narrow the field down to country. Please pull the front wood and describe all the markings and the complete markings on the shotgun itself. If there are no proof markings under the forearm, then it is U S made, the US has never had a Nation Proof house. Proof markings will look like crossed spears under a Crown , perhaps a Crown over a Lion, ELC in a circle or oval, you get the ideal. Describe them the best you can. We really need pictures to help you.:)

  3. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2006
    All I have on Carlos Gove is pretty much what you found. My source just has: "1876-1885 Made heavy percussion "Plains" rifles at 21 Edmund Street, Denver, Colorado."

    Nothing at all on John Constable.

    Re the "Kentucky", be aware that many times the lock was made by a commercial company and sold to the gunmaker as a completed unit. Most gunmakers of that era marked the barrel (if they marked them at all.)
  4. Tanselman

    Tanselman New Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    A. B. Semple worked in Louisville from about 1830 until after 1880. He is known for large, rather plain rifles. He worked as A. B. Semple & Bros. from 1850 to 1861, and as A. B. Semple & Sons from 1862 until 1880. I've seen two of his full-stocked rifles, both signed on the barrel and lock, and both big and plain, with a touch of Tennessee roots in one of them. Not much is known about his personal life, such as where he came from or learned the trade. He became a hardware dealer in Louisville in addition to being a gunsmith. He sold a lot of gun mounts to other gunsmiths, stamped with his name. So a rifle must have his name on the barrel to be considered his work. If only on the lock plate, it's probably another local gunsmith's work. He wasn't an artistic gunmaker by any stretch.

    I research and collect early KY guns, and would enjoy getting additional details about the rifle, and pictures of the front and back sides, from butt plate to about a foot past the lock plate area, to see what you really have. If you cannot post pictures here, I'd enjoy seeing them by e-mail at sgallien@comcast.net. If the gun is 60" long it must have a 44+ inches long barrel and is probably one of his earlier guns. I've never seen a brass patchbox on his guns, just working guns for the average man. Shelby Gallien
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  5. popcan

    popcan New Member

    Feb 17, 2006
    Thank you all for the information. I have taken some pictures and am posting them for you to look at and hopefully be able to tell more about them.
    I have lots more pictures and if anyone is interested in more please email me at reingalsbe@yahoo.com and I will be happy to send them.

    I posted 2 pictures of the 16 ga, 1 of the 10 ga showing proof marks on the barrels and 1 of the Semple Kentucky showing the stock.

    I also have several antique rifles:an ORIGINAL Alexander Henry, a Turner 4 bore, a Collins rifle w/beautiful damascus barrel in .69 cal (14 bore?) and a Springfield musket probably put together by Bannerman in like new/unfired condition but not all matching parts for a type I or II, some of both.

    Also Rifles made by Don Brown: 2 Kentucky flintlocks, and 2 Alexander Henrys.

    Plus there is some civil war leather-cap and bullet pouches, buckles, belts, holsters, musket tools, 1873 pattern bayonets, antique powder flasks etc.
    Anyone interested just ask!

    Attached Files:

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