Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters




sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_Print sp_TopicIcon
Daniel Wesson: Engraver for Winchester and T J Stafford
December 18, 2018
11:24 pm
Avatar
Location: 32000' +
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 1237
Member Since:
July 17, 2012
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

WACA Member #6284 - Specializing in Pre-64 Winchester .22 Rimfire

December 19, 2018
12:57 am
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 193
Member Since:
February 8, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

To Onefish, and all other interested parties;

     I looked up Gary Gianotti and read and examined under magnification the pictures in his articles. Most interesting! I did see what could be interpeted as initial letters depicting a possible HU, JU, E, 4, CU. I also saw what could also be described as a 3, 9, backwards F, not only one number 6 as described, but actually three number 6s and one 9. However within the same photo of the Winchester depicting the initials HU and JU there was also the letter M and a reverse E. I also saw what is described as Herman Ulrich's all seeing eye, this carved in a Steer's Head on a pair of Colt grips. I guess all these numbers, letters, eyes etc could be just as depicted. However in the script Mr. Gianotti or whomever wrote it says these marks are NOT recognized by Researchers or Historians as being identifying marks as to who engraved or carved, as in the case of the Colt grips, the various firearms shown. Perhaps in time they will be, but not yet. If you try to sell a firearm, pointing out the various "Maker Marks" as described, you probably won't get its true value. 

Thank you Onefish for turning me onto Mr G's writing and pictures, APACHE (ya ta hey)Cool

December 19, 2018
3:28 am
Avatar
Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 2151
Member Since:
November 7, 2015
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Great thread, guys.

If anyone’s interested Cabela’s/Bass Pro recently acquired a beautifully engraved 1866 from an estate. It’s rumored to be factory engraved but I’ve only seen a few bootleg pics and all I can say is it looks like some of the factory engraving I’ve seen in books and a few examples in person. Quite frankly I have no idea what I’m looking at but it’s very impressive. It’s likely headed to their museum in Springfield, if any of you have contacts in that area it’s worth a look. 

 

Mike

Life Member TSRA, Endowment Member NRA
BBHC Member, TGCA Member
Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
Presbyopia be damned, I'm going to shoot this thing! -TXGunNut
December 19, 2018
3:58 am
Avatar
Onefish
Guests

Greetings to you too Apache,

That's where we are going with this. When you start going through firearm after firearm and finding the same stuff you will be amazed. Especially on your own rifles. I think the point he was making is the books we have been using to attempt to identify engraving used totally different methods. I think mainly guessing. Gary G. is accepting these marks and brave enough to put it out there. I am accepting these marks and have enough of a database to dispel doubt. The big auction houses obviously don't want to touch the subject nor do they have time to pour over every firearm. Easier to say "here is whatever rifle pictured on page whatever of whatever book". Let alone telling a client his pride and joy isn't what he thinks it is. Not good and not necessarily their job. Wouldn't it really be something if you bought a rifle like this and found out the book with the picture was wrong. Not only that, but how many people used that example to identify their rifle. Sounds like a disaster. Well, it is a disaster. It's an embarrassment to all of us that lets it continue. Let alone the devaluation of masterpieces for lack of a legitimate method of identification other than existing factory records naming the engraver or known exhibition works. These should be the documents that are used.

I was really gonna let this slide for now, BUT such a travesty just happened last weekend. It probably don't mean much as far as value to the proud new owner. Soooo... here is another log for the fire. A silvered and engraved Henry rifle (lot # 287a) sold at Little John's in CA last weekend. The rifle is pictured in Wilson's book "Winchester, an American Legend" on page 20. It is identified as a Nimschke engraved work. I am certain it is an Ulrich and have identified it as such. Gary G. from what I understand, has done the same. You can all digest that for a bit and check it out yourself and please, if you decide to debate what I am proposing. Show me in the pictures of the rifle what would make you believe it's a Nimschke as I am prepared to show otherwise. Just because it's in Wilson's book isn't a legitimate point of argument. "Styles" and "characteristics" are not a legitimate point either. Show me "LDN" or an "N" mark that are on his documented works. Realize he was also a master Mason so some of those references will be similar to the Ulrichs and other guild engravers of the time. And yes the pictures are a little subpar for this but, I am seeing the same bunch of marks that Stafford has. GY HU JU CU -  Someone had it right about one thing. The same guy (or guys) that did the Henry's did the Staffords. At least the one we just reviewed. 

The methods I have been speaking of and what some has read from Gary G. are about foolproof. We all have the proof sitting on the shelves of our gun rooms. Collectively in no time there could be quite a bit of documentation of these marks. Gary's work shows some of the basic things to look for. The true makers marks are almost always backed up by something else. 

Turn loose the hounds! Let the hunt begin!

December 19, 2018
4:12 pm
Avatar
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
December 19, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Michael Carrick said
I have a Henry rifle, serial 9949, that Herb Houze has identified as being engraved by Daniel Smith Wesson, factory engraver for the New Haven Arms Company from 1860-1862, and then back again 1864-1865. Herb made this identification in person when I took the rifle to Cody. Here is one of his comments: "The engraving is of a type that is seen on a few Henrys and early 1866 Winchesters.  The key identifying feature is the presence of the open punch dot ornament bordering the scrollwork." Herb also suggests that most of the engraving he has seen attributed to Hoggson was done by Wesson. A comparison of my gun to so-called Hoggson-engraved guns shows many similarities.

I sent a photo of the silver plate on the buttstock to Vonnie at The Horse Soldier for research on Major H.W. Wheeler. She did not find him in Federal data, and she suggested he was probably an Artillery Officer in a State Militia. Herb Houze remembers once seeing an engraved pistol for H.W. Wheeler in the Connecticut Militia years ago. Henry-right.jpgImage EnlargerHenry-left.jpgImage EnlargerDSC_3136.jpgImage EnlargerScreen-Shot-2018-12-06-at-19.53.28.pngImage Enlarger  

I’m just amazed at how the experts can’t even identify Wheeler. That allows you to date the Plate with the eagle. I know who engraved the gun and I know  Wheelers Identity....

December 19, 2018
4:43 pm
Avatar
Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 9469
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Gary.gianotti1@icloud.com said

I’m just amazed at how the experts can’t even identify Wheeler. That allows you to date the Plate with the eagle. I know who engraved the gun and I know  Wheelers Identity....  

And is there a reason why you did not post that information ?

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

December 19, 2018
5:19 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 193
Member Since:
February 8, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

To Dave (onefish), Gary G. and all others;

    While I might agree that there are definitely what can be described as initials, numbers, etc. Think about this for a minute. On the Stafford pistol, a firearm that would best be described as an inexpensive single shot derringer type, why would several Ulrichs work on it? It certainly can't be described as an "Important" piece. Another thing to think about, whether you're an independent contractor, or as in the case of the Ulrichs working FOR Winchester or Marlin, the only thing the boss wants to know, "Is My Job Finished Yet?" Those of us that have been in business for themselves or worked for someone knows that if you do what the Boss or Customer thinks is a waste of time, you've got a problem. Remember that back in the day these Ulrichs, Youngs, Nimschke and others were nothing but WORKERS, doing work for a boss or in the case of Nimschke, a private customer. As Colt used to say to his employees "COME TO WORK WITH A SMILE ON YOUR FACE EVERY DAY, AND DO YOUR JOB". What do you think he'd do if he found an employee of his putting marks or his initials on his product without his express permission? Olin would do nothing less. One last thing. Although I do agree there is what seems to be what is being described as "Makers Marks" on these firearms. In those days these guys were NOT World recognized artists, but just workers doing a job. The Youngs were Contract engravers doing mainly DIE CUTTING, not EMBELISHING for Colt, as were the Ulrichs for Winchester. The engraver/die maker Nimschke was very much in demand for his work, and was recognized as someone special by his PRIVATE customers. It's my contention that if the Bosses at Winchester found out that THEIR engravers were wasting time doing these things, they would all end up working somewhere else. It's called "I'm Paying You MONEY, Don't Waste Time, My Customer Wants It NOW". Sad but true as most of us know.

   When doing my research into my Winchester 1866 I can't tell you how many times I was told by KNOWN researchers "Larry you're doing to much. You're putting in more time and effort than nessessary". My reply would always be "You being who you are can say the white wall is really black, and many would believe it and not their own eyes. I have to proove it".

   In any case if your and Gary's theory about these marks are eventually accepted it would save a lot of research time indeed.

Thank you, Apache (ya ta hey)SmileSmile

December 20, 2018
1:29 am
Avatar
Onefish
Guests

Apache,

First of all its not a theory at this point, it's fact beyond anyone being able to dispute. I thought someone would come up with something about the rifle I mentioned on page 20 of Wilson's "American Legend" book that is misidentified. Turned out he was pretty legendary himself. Maybe everyone should Google him too. Are there any identification/verification researchers reading this? Who would that be? No matter they are probably comparing styles out of a book that's wrong anyway. I can prove the marks from rifle to rifle. Why don't you post a couple pics of the receiver of your Marlin? Let's look at that. BTW did you say $5K value on that? If so I'm your huckleberry! As far as limited time to spend on a rifle, you are talking about factory engraved firearms. I discussed this sometime ago under a post about Masonic symbols on firearms. Good chance that pistol was done at a later date as well or a special order as it was done for a master mason by master masons. That makes it special to them and the work would reflect it. These are the firearms that are the true masterpieces. Regarding the stamps and dies. If you think they didn't mess with the dates and addresses on the barrels AND the serial numbers you are flat out wrong. Anyone with interest can email me for examples. As a matter of fact I will place a large wager that the 9949 serial number on that Wheeler rifle contains the Ulrichs marks. The one under the butt plate will be more amazing.

MRCVS

If you are reading this you are welcome to post the example of the barrel markings I sent you today. That's a great example of how they responded to what Apache mentioned about putting THEIR marks on the manufacturers firearms.

Bert H.,

If you read back through this string of posts about the Stafford pistol you will find I identified both the Stafford pistol and Wheeler rifle as Ulrich works with at least Gustave Young attestments. I sent Gary G. pics of that pistol today after speaking with the owner along with mentioning this ongoing engraving debate.

Works like the Wheeler rifle was probably done around 1901 -1904ish. (Whenever he made Major)(??) In about a minute on Google I just found a Col. H. W. Wheeler that wrote a book called Frontier Trails and that he enlisted in the 5th Cavalry in 1886 as a 1st Lieutenant. Gary G. is right about how amazingly easy that was. How could you own a rifle like that and not ever be curious enough not to Google H. W. Wheeler?  The owner said Houze and Horse Soldier research already identified both the engraver and the man. JUST WOW!!! Gotta be kidding me! That's laughable! How much did that cost? Do they give refunds? Maybe I should send him an invoice. Let's see 2 minutes @ $25/hr. Mike you owe me  83 cents. 😂 As I recall there was a Wheeler survey of the American SW in the 1870s or sometime there about as well. That might be worth checking. 

Anyway...... ya te hey!!

December 20, 2018
4:08 am
Avatar
Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 9469
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Onefish said
Apache,

Bert H.,

If you read back through this string of posts about the Stafford pistol you will find I identified both the Stafford pistol and Wheeler rifle as Ulrich works with at least Gustave Young attestments. I sent Gary G. pics of that pistol today after speaking with the owner along with mentioning this ongoing engraving debate.

Works like the Wheeler rifle was probably done around 1901 -1904ish. (Whenever he made Major)(??) In about a minute on Google I just found a Col. H. W. Wheeler that wrote a book called Frontier Trails and that he enlisted in the 5th Cavalry in 1886 as a 1st Lieutenant. Gary G. is right about how amazingly easy that was. How could you own a rifle like that and not ever be curious enough not to Google H. W. Wheeler?  The owner said Houze and Horse Soldier research already identified both the engraver and the man. JUST WOW!!! Gotta be kidding me! That's laughable! How much did that cost? Do they give refunds? Maybe I should send him an invoice. Let's see 2 minutes @ $25/hr. Mike you owe me  83 cents. As I recall there was a Wheeler survey of the American SW in the 1870s or sometime there about as well. That might be worth checking. 

Anyway...... ya te hey!!  

And exactly what elicited your sharp tongued response to me ?  I was not addressing you or anything you had previously espoused in this topic string!  Is there a specific reason why you are being so blatantly confrontational with everyone who responds in this topic string?

What I will point out is you have a real penchant for rubbing people the wrong way with your haughty "know-it-all" replies to the various people who have replied in this topic.  I for one am rapidly tiring of your general lack of respect for anyone who questions anything you believe or have to say.

As an unregistered Guest on this forum, your access is limited... why have you not yet registered? Common courtesy would dictate that you do that.

Bert - WACA Admin

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

December 20, 2018
5:36 am
Avatar
California
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 407
Member Since:
July 19, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Gentlemen,

I agree with Mike ( TXGunNut ). I’m enjoying some different ways and views on this topic and find the “debate” as being civil and not any one person confrontational or rude. Different beliefs and views are expressed with passion at times, and a reply can be read differently by many. A novice reads from a different base than an “expert”. What is obvious to some is questioned by another. The continued quotations from Madis are repeated by some and questioned by others that know newer information trumps the old. 

I don’t enjoy slamming a non-member’s post with his membership as an issue. I hope to learn from this Forum and if I make a poorly worded response, my intent is certainly not to degrade someone, or call them out.  Overall I think things flow well here, and tolerance goes a long way. 

My two cents,

Bill

December 20, 2018
6:13 am
Avatar
Onefish
Guests

Bert,

My response to you was pointing out why Gary G. just now responded as to who may have engraved those firearms and that it was already posted. Not sure how you translate that as being sharp tongued. Not my intention.

I have freely shared information with everyone who responded to my questions or interpretations with multiple examples as well as pointing them towards other research. Open debate like this is confrontational. The only person who chooses to debate is Apache and he certainly has my respect for that. I know what kind of researcher he is. He is also pointing out all the things that needs addressing. I know I am inspiring him to look at this. He also has it spot on what this is up against and with his background in mythology and astrology combined with studying engraving like he has will eventually start recognizing this. Meanwhile I would say a lot of your members are enjoying the debate. I would also bet many members are taking pictures of their rifles and starting to compare markings or looking in the cuts for actual initials. Maybe some are googling the name that is on their rifle and making new discoveries.

As far as being a know it all, that's the point of this all. No one is a know it all, especially with a lot of misinformation that has been sold as gospel being used for research. With a combined effort we can know a lot more than we do now about identifying works of art. I have invited anyone to tell me I am wrong about engravers using certain marks on their work with examples as to why. If they do I will learn something and move one step closer to actually being a know it all.

As far as being on here at all. One of your members directed me to that Stafford pistol. When I looked at it and read the posts about the engraver I felt I had to speak up and offer information that suggested Wesson did not engrave the pistol when it is clearly an Ulrich work. Now he knows what he has with examples of the same marks on other Ulrich works and knows where to look for more proof. He also has a pistol worth a lot more than he did when he first put up a post. By the responses I have gotten I know I have benefited several of your members and they are grateful whether this subject has rubbed you the wrong way or not.

I am more than happy to leave you to your own devices if you think I have mislead anyone. I also will go as far as apologizing to everyone I have offended. Sorry guys. 

Apache,

Keep digging. Take a good look at your 1881 with this stuff in mind. You might end up pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the debate it's good to be challenged. My hat is off to you and your research. You have my email address if you would care to continue in a private format.

Ya te hey!

December 20, 2018
3:35 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 635
Member Since:
September 22, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

20181219_132525.jpgImage Enlarger20181219_132514_Burst01.jpgImage Enlarger20181219_132537.jpgImage Enlarger20181219_132547.jpgImage EnlargerAnd photographs taken in natural sunlight, as per the request of a few individuals.

December 20, 2018
7:26 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 193
Member Since:
February 8, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Onefish;

     You seem to want to fight the current gun collecting community with this. Good luck in your endeavor. Perhaps you might eventually be able to convince the World. At this point in time not so much. When I look at these photos, not only do I see what you point out, but many other things that can be interpreted as letters, numbers, symbols and Masonic signs. I find it hard to believe. I don't think the Ulrichs, Youngs and Nimschke all worked on the same firearm. I think the eye sees what we want it to see. In any case right now the Collectors look for other things before they buy. If I were to push numbers, letters or symbols they would just walk away laughing. In any case, keep trying, in time who knows.

Apache Cool

December 21, 2018
2:11 am
Avatar
WACA Guest
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
November 24, 2018
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm new here although been lurking and learning a bit now. I've had an addiction to lever guns and especially antique Winchesters a few years now. We're in Montana and live close to the late Robert Lee's Cromwell Island. I've been lucky enough to see some of his collections over the past few years. Incredible. 

I've got to say i find this thread very interesting and informative. 

I guess I can't post pics being so new but I would love to put up a couple of a first model 73 that is beautifully engraved and see if anyone can tell me who might have done it and how. In the meantime I'll keep reading and learning. 

December 22, 2018
7:04 pm
Avatar
Kingston, WA
Forum Posts: 9469
Member Since:
April 15, 2005
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Backstraps said
I'm new here although been lurking and learning a bit now. I've had an addiction to lever guns and especially antique Winchesters a few years now. We're in Montana and live close to the late Robert Lee's Cromwell Island. I've been lucky enough to see some of his collections over the past few years. Incredible. 

I've got to say i find this thread very interesting and informative. 

I guess I can't post pics being so new but I would love to put up a couple of a first model 73 that is beautifully engraved and see if anyone can tell me who might have done it and how. In the meantime I'll keep reading and learning.   

As an unregistered Guest on the WACA website, you do not have the access rights to post pictures (or other files).  If you register as a WACA forum user, you can post links to pictures you have stored on a host website. Please register and consider signing up for a full membership.

Bert

WACA 6571L, Historian & Board of Director Member
High-walls-1-002-C-reduced2.jpg

December 23, 2018
4:26 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 635
Member Since:
September 22, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I will be the first to say I do not possess the level of expertise to determine who engraved my firearm, or other extraordinary ones, be it Wesson, Ulrich, Young, etc.

However, I go about this with an open mind and am amazed at the level of extraordinary and original research being done by Onefish.  For this, I am most appreciative!  In private e-mail messages from Onefish, it is apparent his research--even using UV and blue light--is quite advanced.

The goal, or at least mine, is to learn as much as possible about engraving such as this.  Financial gain is not the goal.  I am well aware of the fact that I could easily double my money on this Stafford pistol.  However, it remains not for sale.

December 23, 2018
8:29 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 193
Member Since:
February 8, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

To mrcvs;

   MRCVS, you've been a collector and WACA member many years and have collected many beautiful high condition firearms over the years to have some insight as to the styles used by the different 19th Century engravers. I think that if you can tell the difference between an Original High Condition firearm, be it a Winchester, Colt or whatever then you should be able to see the difference in the work done by various engravers, be they from the 1800's or modern times. If you cannot tell the difference between a Colt engraved by Gustov Young or one embellished by Louis Nimschke from the MACRO photos used in the Harris book you own, there are plenty of WACA collectors that would be willing to help show you what to look for. This difference simular to sort of looking for initials, numbers, and mystic signs. These differences in the styles, cuts, etc being far more accepted by the rest of todays Collectors than what is being promoted in this thread. All you have to do is ask. Have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.

Apache SmileSmile

December 23, 2018
10:59 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 635
Member Since:
September 22, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Merry Christmas to you Apache,

I have always been interested in high condition Winchesters, Smith & Wessons, and Colts and I know what my area of expertise is, and I can easily tell if a particular firearm is original or not and give a long list of reasons why this is so.  I can also differentiate, usually, if engraving is original, New York style, or new.  However, I have not owned, nor examined enough personally, to differentiate different styles of particular engravers.  Perhaps this would be a good New Year's resolution--e.g., to improve my knowledge base with regards to this subject matter.

Admittedly, lately I have been most interested in becoming an expert when it comes to Colt Cavalry and Artillery model revolvers and early Smith & Wesson revolvers--Triple Locks and before.  I used to collect Winchesters a whole lot more, but, admittedly, they have fallen out of favour for a very obscure reason: a revolver fits in a safe deposit box much easier than a Winchester.  I like having the freedom of having the bulk of my collection stowed away safely and be in England for a few weeks and not having to worry about having my lifelong collection carried away.  Yes, I do have safes and an alarm system--but you still worry...

December 24, 2018
4:08 pm
Avatar
WACA Member
Forum Posts: 193
Member Since:
February 8, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

MRCVS;

    You're thinking of doing what I did about 10 years ago. I love the Winchesters, but can fit many more interesting Colts, S&W's and Remingtons in my vault.

Winchester are soft in the market right now, Colts not so much.

Apache (ya-ta-hey)Wink

January 1, 2019
2:11 am
Avatar
gary.gianotti1@iclou
Guests

Apache, yes the Henry was engraved by John Ulrich! The gun was 40 years old before it was refinished in New Haven and the plate was placed on it by John or the Younger John Ulrich! Wheeler was friends with Cody, wrote two books of his life. Famous as scouting, served at San Juan, Philippines, fought in the indian wars! The gun engraving was chased with added Ulrich touches when it was refinished  40 years late and given to Wheeler! 

Forum Timezone: UTC 0

Most Users Ever Online: 628

Currently Online: pdog72
44 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)


Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 16

Topics: 6604

Posts: 53161


Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 886

Members: 8719

Moderators: 4

Admins: 3


Top Posters:

1873man: 3982

twobit: 2465

TXGunNut: 2151

Maverick: 1452

Big Larry: 1373

JWA: 1237

Wincacher: 1180

clarence: 1107

Brad Dunbar: 1068

Chuck: 986

Navigation