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Long Rifle

Hoy, Patrick – Attributed
Place Made:
Spartanburg County South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
maple, brass, silver, bone
LOA: 60 1/2
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Full-length octagon barrel. Engraved brass patchbox and finial with half silver moon to the left of patchbox head and four pronged star directly above patchbox head. Silver piece on butt-stock. Eight-point silver star and half moon on cheek. Brass touch-hole pickholder with lever. Silver pin escutcheons with fanciest ones closest to lock and side plate. Bone toe plate. Bone butt plate. One screw on barrel tang. Silver thumb plate. Silver plates on both sides of wrist. Brass diamond side plate. Diamond on trigger bow. Double-set triggers.

STYLE: A very unusual feature of this rifle, and one shared by other examples from the same region, is the two-piece bone buttplate, along with the bone toeplate on the lower edge of the buttstock. Although considered by some to be a “folk” motif, the use of such bone mounts actually follows a European tradition that had existed for over two centuries. The use of bone, because of the labor required, actually would have been more expensive than a normal brass casting. The brass patchbox is an attenuated version of the classic “daisy” design which originated in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

MAKER: Born in Ireland, Patrick Hoy (1787-1866) came to America in 1804, at the age of 17, and settled in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. Working as a gunsmith, his rifles are distinguished by the prominent use of bone inlay, as seen on this particular example. Hoy is buried in the Nazareth Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Spartanburg County.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund