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Thread: Identifying Maker and Country of Origin of Charles Daly Hammergun

  1. #1
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    Identifying Maker and Country of Origin of Charles Daly Hammergun

    Punted to-day on an early, high-condition Charles Daly-branded side-lock, side-by-side hammergun, bought online through the Amoskeag Auction Company. I just happened to remark its availability when reviewing the items on offer after the auction was underway, so I had no time to make an inquiry. The "Charles Daly" brand name is stamped on both side-plates, and the barrels' top-rib is stamped "Charles Daly Damascus Barrels," which despite the lowly grade of the gun overall are very fine damascus, and are 'browned' in their trademark black and white coloration. I have yet to decide what I will eventually do with this gun because it was a surendipitous, impulsive purchase.

    The subject gun, a 10-bore wildfowler with 30-inch barrels, and although not engraved as I would normally want it be and the most basic of the early Charles Daly models, is in near new condition. The wonderful French walnut stocks and original case colors were / are irresistibly beautiful.

    However, other than the appearance of the gun's "836" serial number in all the expected places, it is otherwise unmarked in terms of identifying stamps, with the exception of the barrel-maker's or barrel set "knitter's" initials immediately behind the forend lug. Those initials, it is said, are "CK". Based on the lack of any other stamps, I believe this is not a Prussian-built gun (Although I would appreciate being corrected concerning this assumption.) but one that was perhaps built in the white and exported by Tolley or Neumann (the lack of proof marks likely precludes this possibility), or some other maker, and imported into the United States by Schoverling, Daly & Gales. When imported for private labeling purposes, the basic gun or parts kit would have been forwarded by them to their retailers / distributors, such as Schaefer & Son, Joseph Tonks, brothers "Jas." and "Wm. Donn" (By the way, I believe that I own the only William Donn, Chicago, gun every built and / or extant, a combined effort of T. Kilby and H. A. Lindner circa 1890-2, and therefore of surpassing quality.), and others for final finishing and to be stamped with the finisher's name and proprietary marks, or simply retailed under the established Charles Daly name. It is possible, too, this gun was manufactured / built and finished in-country by Lefever, although I have not seen other than their so-called 'sidecocker' guns (these said to have been made by H. A. Lindner) associated with the Charles Daly name. I believe this last possibility, or the parallel possibility of some other similarly performing domestic manufacturer, the more likely source because of the dearth of proof and country marks, due to the fact there was not then and is not now a government proof house in the United States, as well as because our domestic gun manufacturers here would have at most applied their maker or brand name and serial numbers (and then only sometimes but not always) to the firearm.

    Here is a selection of photographs of the 10-bore Daly gun for your enjoyment:





    The key, of course, because this gun lacks another clue, becomes the aforementioned initials "CK" stamped behind the forend hanger or lug. I know that I have seen these initials before, but I have not been able to locate the reference even though I can readily envision them in my mind's eye.

    I would greatly appreciate whatever information any correspondent can provide that might assist me in identifying the gun's true maker and /or barrel-maker and / or country of origin, and approximately when made. Thanks to everyone for any and all information, which is always greatly appreciated.

    With my


    Best regards,

    Edwardian
    Last edited by Edwardian; 03-28-2015 at 09:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Would like to see image of the lugs & water-table. I assume it has the Deeley-Edge fastner? I would guess Belgian tubes knitted by Christoph Klett in Suhl. Bump on the forend is a bit unique.

    Cheers,


    Raimey
    rse

  3. #3
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    Good to hear from you, "Raimey." I am given to understand the gun's water-table evinces only the "836" serial number. I do not yet have possession of the gun (It will be about 10-days before I do.), although as soon as I do have it from the auction house, and have had the opportunity to look in to all the recesses for other telling marks, I will post here additional photographs of the barrel lugs and standing breech, and of whatever else is discovered.

    I am very pleased to now know a given name to use in place of the "CK" initials. Do we know what time period Daly / Lindner sourced barrels from Christoph Klett? What is known, if anything, of his work otherwise, in terms of quality productions and workmanship? Would this gun's action have also been sourced in Belgium, say from Francotte or Neumann? Or would that have been sourced elsewhere, say from a Suhl-based company or firm where Klett lived and toiled, such as the commonly sourced Sauer?

    The wonderful thing about this gun is that the evident high quality of the workmanship and materials is easily comparable to similarly graded guns of the historical period from the best makers. Many years ago, I remember a sincere 'finisher' at Holland & Holland intoning when asked about engraving generally that he and his fellows preferred their hand-built guns not be engraved, in order that the self-evident craftsmanship, beauty and quality of their work and of the materials employed not be overlooked by being overwhelmed behind a pretty display of distracting engraving. I think this low grade though quality Daly gun, sans engraving, equally establishes its own, self-evident high standard of workmanship.

    Yes, its appears the gun employs the Deeley-Edge latch-type fastener. As well, I recall in the literature on the subject some mention of the "bump" you remark at the edge of the forend iron, which appears here to be decorative rather than usefully mechanical in nature. What, if anything, would its presence signify? Is it peculiar to a particular source or gun-making region? I seem to recall viewing a close duplicate Belgian-made gun (the gun was said to possess Belgian proofs) with the name of Schaefer & Son stamped in the top-rib that had a similar "bump" formed at the end of the iron. The subject gun also does not appear to possess the fluted grip-cap that one usually espies capping Daly gun quarter-grips, or a carved flute at the comb of the stock above the grip; although, it indeed appears to have the typical horn insert at the tip of its forend.

    Thank you for your much appreciated response.


    Best regards,

    Edwardian

  4. #4
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    http://doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbt...&Number=385858

    If it doesn't wear the full ensemble of Belgian touchmarks, I have serious reservations that it was completed in Liege. Any really, in the 800 serial number range, I'm hard pressed to say it is from any where else but Suhl. Probably from the 1872 -1874, prior to Lindner being the sole source. Look forward to images.

    Cheers,

    Raimey
    rse

  5. #5
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    It is possible that the forgings were acquired elsewhere other than Suhl but after Daly purchased a lot of Scott components, I just don't believe he sourced other gunmaking centres for components. But then again Liege was sourced for tubes, which were pretty much a specialty item. It is possible that in an attempt to fill an order or in a crunch Daly would have sourced non-inland Suhl but for sure Suhl had forgings by then. There may be initials on the back of the locks to point toward a maker.

    Cheers,

    Raimey
    rse

  6. #6
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    Thank you for the information, which is greatly appreciated.

    If we posit that Christoph Klett made the barrel set at Suhl and that the action body and its constituent parts and furniture were also sourced there, would it have been a Lindner, whether Georg or Heinrich, or was it someone else who accumulated the pieces, then assembled and finished these 800 serial numbered guns during the 1872-1874 time period? Who would Daly have entrusted with this important job of providing namesake guns destined to be built for and marketed in the United States?

    I have the impression that during that historical period Georg Lindner was selected to produce the Daly gun, and was the gunmaker who originally established the mutually beneficial business relationship with Charles Daly, prior to his son's eventual ascension to his role. Speculating further, it may have been Georg who cleared the variously sourced inventory of (Scott, Tolley, etc.) accumulated components previously sourced for the company's earlier guns, which Georg then refined and eventually used in the construction of many of the first batches of ordered guns for Schoverling, Daly and Gales. The signal quality of workmanship and presumably the reliable and timely delivery of the completed goods, resulted in first George and later son Heinrich becoming the sole-source of Charles Daly guns for decades thereafter.

    The subject gun appears to employ a Scott action, or perhaps a close version of the same, which was bought-in and incorporated in the early Daly guns. Of course, Sauer could and surely did provide actions of its own to the trade, or also used them in its own completed and semi-completed guns. Presumably, most of this older inventory, naturally based on the elder pattern of gun, was extinguished before Heinrich took over his father's position and assumed management of the ongoing business relationship with Schoverling, Daly and Gales.

    I wonder how common it is to encounter similar early period examples of the Prussian Charles Daly hammergun in the same condition as the subject gun, as well as one evincing none of the Lindner associated markings? It would seem to me that few of these early guns that cannot be ascribed to the Lindner-Daly period still exist in such excellent condition because of the very limited number of such guns finished before the advent of Heinrich Lindner's sole management of the business relationship with Schoverling, Daly and Gales. Given the usual attrition rate for 140-year old antique firearms, the still existing early guns in collectible condition would seem to be a rarely encountered minority within an already limited overall total production of Prussian Daly guns remaining in collectible condition. The majority of the examples I have seen that come from the 1870's period were in comparatively poor or even irreparable condition. This situation informs me that I may have a highly desirable and thus very collectible 10-bore hammergun, despite the fact that it is not a high grade Daly gun.

    Whenever I receive this newly acquired hammergun, I will take photographs and post them here. I, too, believe there may be maker's marks stamped into the inside surfaces of the lock-plates, or perhaps can be discovered elsewhere in presently unexposed areas. That is something preferably left to the professional who will disassemble the gun for examination and a good cleaning. I will report here what is found.

    Again, thank you for the information and insights. With my


    Best regards,

    Edwardian

  7. #7
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    In a cursory read, I believe you to be pretty much spot on with your assessment. Charles Daly had the pulse of the American Sportsman and Suhl was a best fit for his needs. "The Daly Gun" or "Charles Daly" would have only been applied to pieces of quality. Now you might see S,D&G's Porter George Fisher or T.W. Stake on lower rung Belgian wares. American gunmakers just didn't have it all together & could not supply the quantity that Charles Daly was going to require. In fact, I think the small contingent in Suhl struggled at times and that led to sourcing, possibly along family lines & later on to Sauer, outside of the original small pool of mechanics. At times he dabbled/tried with American breech-loader designs/patents. Look at Augustus Schoverling's house, Daly's holdings; Charles Daly was in for the long-haul and in for keeps. They permeated ever facet of American Sporting possibilities and either hit the nail square on the head or so mesmerized the American Sportsman making them like it or think that the concept was their own. It is further revealed by the bulk of American makers being pitted against S,D&G, tariff laws, etc. It was all about the Benjamins until WWI turned off the spigot.

    Cheers,

    Raimey
    rse

  8. #8
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    Permit me to rephrase, WWI turned off the spigot, H.A. Lindner's son Ernst fell in fierce fighting with the Brits & by the early 1920s, pretty much everyone in management that could have had visions of grandeur of the old S,D&G, had departed this world. Probably a bunch of slack-jawed lackeys/lackies that couldn't manage a lemonade stand. That's my story & I'm sticking to it for now.

    Cheers,

    Raimey
    rse

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