Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Grandstaff Flintlock Chunk Gun or Bench Rifle

A Full-Stocked Flintlock Rifle by 
John Grandstaff Shenandoah County, Virginia, circa 1820-30 

In my wide ranging and far flung meanderings through the internet's netherworld, I came upon this beauty. A circa 1820-30 chunk gun. Also known as stump guns, they were frequently used for informal and formal target shooting at blocks of wood.

"The 46 inch octagonal barrel with seven-groove rifling in .42 caliber, brass fore-sight and open rear sight; breech signed J. Grandstaff; left flat with indistinct markings; unusual two-step tang. Engraved lock signed Joseph/Golcher. Double-set triggers. Brass furniture, most components engraved with skip line border; patchbox with three piercings, the finial a simplified scroll and blossom, the engraved lid with button release. Full stock of dark, striped maple, the rounded cheekpiece with fluted lower edge and inlaid with a brass compass star; behind the cheekpiece four brass inlays, one in the form of a pointing hand, the other four circular. With older, and possibly period, hickory ramrod, the lower 12 inches a separate pinned piece. Condition: Very good plus. Barrel with dark patina and some light pitting. Patchbox lid with old repair to hinge. Wood has been cleaned and possibly revarnished; fore-end with several small hairline cracks and one 7/8" x 1/8" piece missing to left side 14 inches from muzzle; small chip to right side of barrel tang, small crack to left side and small chips at rear of tang; repaired chip above rear of lock.

Footnotes Note: Illustrated in Plate 112 of Kentucky Rifles, Capt. John Dillin. In his listing he misreads the maker's name as Grandstatt and notes he was a workman of great merit... Note: John Grandstaff, 1789-1853, Shenandoah County, Virginia. See pages 110, 111 and 112 of Gunmakers of Virginia by John Biser Whisker, for examples of Grandstaff's work. The gun illustrated on page 112 also has the pointing hand inlay motif and a counterplate of somewhat similar form."