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Auction Date: September 15, 2013

Lot 3002: Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company - 1853-Rifle

Sold for Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company  - 1853-Rifle
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Magnificent Documented Sharps Panel Scene Gustave Young Engraved Model 1853 Percussion Sporting Rifle
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $37,500
Item Views 184 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company  - 1853-Rifle ManufacturerSharps Rifle Manufacturing Company Model1853-Rifle
TypeRifle Gauge40 Catalog Page6
Barrel25 1/2 Inch Octagon FinishBrown/casehardened Grip
Stockwalnut ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionManufactured between 1854 and 1856. This rifle is pictured and described on page 103 of "STEEL CANVAS" by R.L. Wilson. The rifle is pictured with the original wooden shipping box (with gun) and accessories. The box lid is stamped with the owner's name and address "FERDINAND RHOADS/SHAMOKIN/NORTHUMBERLAND CO PENNA.". A simple internet search discovered a grave listing for Ferdinand Rhoads (Jan. 7, 1835 to Oct. 21, 1897). His gravesite is located in the Irish Valley United Methodist Church Cemetery in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. His spouse was Lucretia Chamberlain Rhoads and the couple had two children, William H. Rhoads (1860 - 1860) and Clara C Rhoads (1864 - 1865). A Ferdinand Rhoads is also listed in the book Trevorton Sesquicentennial, 1850-2000: Remembering the Past, Cherishing the Present, Enriching the Future as a Trevorton, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, as a Civil War veteran. In the book History of Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, a Ferdinand Rhoads is listed as a Sergeant who served with The Shamokin Guards during the Civil War. The Shamokin Guards was mustered into service in September 1861 and assigned to the 46th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, as Company K and fought in such battles as the Second Battle of Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam (at the famous Dunker Church), Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and later participated in Sherman’s March to the Sea. Company K of the 46th Regiment was mustered out of service on July 24, 1865. The rifle is decorated with dense Germanic scroll engraving on a punch dot background on the breech end of the barrel, the hammer, lock, lower tang, lever, frame, buttplate tang and patch box assembly. There is also an oval game scene engraved on the center of the patch box lid and a hunter with rifle is engraved on the left side receiver hump. The edge of the muzzle is engraved with a wavy border. The Sharps patent markings on the receiver and lock plate are engraved in panels with double line borders, C.SHARPS/PATENT/1852" on the lock and "C.SHARPS/PATENT/1848" on the left side of the receiver. Wilson states that the rifle engraving was executed by Gustave Young's shop. (The hammer has nine dots stamped on the spin, which was a method used by Gustave Young to denote the level of embellishment. He also did this on Colt Revolvers.) The consignor notes that only four Model 1853 Sporting Rifles were made with "Extra Engraving". The rifle has a heavy 90 bore/.40 caliber full octagon barrel. The barrel has a dovetail mounted front sight with brass blade and folding leaf rear sight. The top barrel flat is marked "SHARP'S RIFLE/MANUFG.CO./HARTFORD CONN.". The slant breech receiver tang is fitted with the early style long range folding tang sight secured by a single screw. The rifle has a single set trigger. The matching number is stamped on the top of the receiver, barrel under the forearm and on the inside of the forearm. The barrel is browned with casehardened remaining parts, and mounted with a smooth straight grain black walnut forearm with a pewter forend and straight grip stock with a steel carbine style buttplate.

ConditionFine. The barrel retains traces of the thin brown finish with some scattered age spotting. The case colors on the receiver, lock plate, patch box and buttplate have faded to a smooth steel gray patina. There is some minor flash pitting on the nipple and hammer face and some age discoloration on the inside of the primer housing. The tang sight retains traces of the niter blue finish. The sliding sight aperture is absent. The buttplate has a smooth dark gray patina with crisp checkering on the heel. The stock retains 75% of the original varnish finish and is very good with minor handling and storage marks. The forearm has more handling wear and is good-very good. The markings and engraving are crisp and clear. The action is fine. The wooden box is good with a chip absent on the lower right side and overall moderate-heavy wear associated with wooden box of this age. This is a very good example of a very rare well documented Gustave Young 'Extra Engraved' Sharps Model 1853 Sporting Rifle.
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