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Long Rifle

Grandstaff, John
Place Made:
Edinburg Shenandoah County Virginia
Date Made:
maple, brass, silver
LOA: 57 1/2
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Full-length octagon barrel. Engraved brass patchbox with five piercings and bird shaped patchbox head outlined in silver, silver tear drop above patchbox head. Silver oval, silver sword, silver half moon, silver swirled inlays all on butt-stock. Silver oval with eagle and two silver swirled inlays on cheek, ornate brass touch-hole pickholder with one large piercing. Swirl shaped silver pin escutcheons, etched brass toe plate with acorn shape at top, silver circle above acorn shape near trigger guard’s rear extension. Only one screw on barrel tang. Brass side plate with two silver hands on either side, inscription on silver lock. Acorn and tear-shaped silver comb plates with acorn closest to butt plate’s heel extension. Inscription on silver thumb plate, silver acorn on both sides of wrist, silver tear in front of cheek near acorn on wrist.

STYLE: The silver wire inlays are typical of the Upper Valley. On this rifle, the wire actually takes the form of what otherwise would have been a pattern for relief carving behind the cheekpiece. The acorn was also common in the region and reflects the English influence on the Southern gunmakers. (Gunsmiths of Pen-Mar-Va, 1790-1840)

MAKER: John Grandstaff (1789-1853) was the son of 18th-century Virginia gunsmith Philip Grandstaff of Woodstock. John operated his own gun factory in Edinburg, where he is documented making guns for militia during the War of 1812. His probate inventory of 1853 includes a significant list of blacksmithing and gunsmithing tools.

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. Titus Geesey, by exchange