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A couple of issues ago we alluded to the necessity for the new collectors to read as much about his chosen interest, preferably before making his first purchase, certainly during the entire course of his collecting career. The more “advanced” collector, of course, will hang on to these books – they make very useful reference works for future use in determining the value of further acquisitions; I use the term “value” rather than “worth” or cost as a firearm or sword or whatever may be...
In a world where collectible arms can reach six figures in value there are, believe it or not, areas of collecting that are still affordable. this column will regularly feature areas of specialization that are inexpensive, live, fun, challenging and highly rewarding in collector satisfaction.
Ethan Allen was well known as a gun maker. at least three books and many articles have been written celebrating the wide assortment arms that emanated from his genius. A lesser known is the line of cartridges produced by his various companies. Allen received two patents on cartridges (#30,109 and #47,688) and several others on cartridge manufacturing machinery.
England probably got its first real taste of the benefits of skirmisher tactics and the rifle during the French and Indian Wars (1754 to 1763). Although there was certainly no rush to exchange muskets for rifles, a few visionary officers began to see the virtue of accurate fire and a few rifles, probably German, were provided to one of the most vocal proponents, Col. Bouquet, in 1758. It was through his efforts that a spark of interest developed and was kept alive (barely) during the ensuing...
U.S. martial pistols were one of the earliest recognized gun collecting interests. Two of the first books on collecting firearms published in the U.S., Charles Winthrop Sawyer’s United States Single Shot Martial Pistols, and Simeon North, First Official Pistol Maker of the United States, by two of North’s collateral descendants, both appeared in 1913. While both books contained numerous errors, they are as collectible today as the guns they describe.
I've seen naked women engraved on modern shotguns, but they didn't make me laugh. In the 19th century, I've seen serious little hunters, loyal dogs, and their prey. In the 18th century, I've confronted monsters. Images of human, semi-human, and nonhuman faces and bodies have decorated firearms since the 16th century. In this brief entertainment, I'll first show you some faces from 17th and 18th century English firearms, as an introduction and background. Then I'll focus on my favorite early...
The Connecticut Arms and Manufacturing Company was located in Naubuc, Connecticut, just ten miles southeast of Hartford. It was founded in 1863 by two brothers, Henry B. and Lewis Hammond. Like many similar firms, the attraction of potential sales to the military was a powerful incentive to gun entrepreneurs.