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Thread: "SAXONY"-stamped Charles Daly hammerless gun

  1. #1
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    "SAXONY"-stamped Charles Daly hammerless gun

    22 May 2014


    Gentlemen:

    At a recent auction, I purchased an early 250 model Charles Daly gun in 12-bore, circa pre-1891, with the following stamps underside the herringbone pattern “Manufacture Extra” damascus barrels: the serial number “298” on the right barrel flat; the country of origin, “SAXONY”, on the underside of each barrel alongside the ‘extension plate,’ forward of the barrel flats and lugs; immediately forward of the “SAXONY” country of origin stamp, and also located alongside the extension, the elder H. A. Lindner crown-over-crossed-pistols trademark; just forward of the edge of the extension plate are the barrel-maker’s initials, “LE”; located on the underside of the left barrel close by the under-rib; immediately across from the barrel-maker’s initials, there on the underside of the right barrel, and again close to the under-rib, are the numerals “444”.

    There are neither proof house stamps or source of parts/materials marks whatsoever, nor stamps or marks other than the aforementioned, anywhere. Only the serial number, “298”, is repeated on the water-table, left side of the action bar bridge; floor of the rear lug bar slot; and stamped on the underside of the forearm iron, mid-iron.

    Basic research and correspondence elsewhere informs me that the combination of “SAXONY”, crown-over-crossed-pistols trademark, and barrel-maker “LE” are comparatively uncommon, indeed quite rare. I have found but two other examples in the literature that bear SAXONY and crown-over-crossed-pistols stamps, but none where the preceding two are combined with barrel-maker “LE”, to my knowledge. Is this assertion correct, or matches your experience?

    Who is barrel-maker “LE”, I wonder? I have seen a single W & C Scott hammer gun, presumably finished by Lindner, which bears that very stamp. Could “LE” be, like barrel-maker-filer “T. Kilby” (i.e. Thomas Kilby the Elder or his much younger relative, Thomas J. Kilby, who in the mid-1880s eventually took over the renowned company, maintaining its established name), yet another Briton sourced by the Prussians or Prussian Saxons? Or is he European? How rare or not are SAXONY-stamped Charles Daly hammerless guns? Where can this particular gun be placed as to its probable year of production?

    In that respect, I think the gun's action and most of its constituent parts were completed before 1891 but the barrels, necessarily stamped with the country of origin because of being made after 1891, were then exported separately though concomitantly to the United States. I speculate that the second numeric series, or “444” in our example, may have been the result of a business strategy on the part of Schoverling, Daly & Gales that thought to export guns to the United States from abroad unassembled for import because of then prevailing import duties/tariffs, and then had them reassembled upon arrival somewhere in the United States. The numbers “444” and serial number “298” may have been associated one with the other in Prussia for inventory purposes, and ergo for the purpose of associative numbering and easier reassembly once in the United States.

    Shown below (or click on the provided link) is an auction house photograph of the gun’s barrel flats, sans views of the barrel-maker’s initials and the numerals 444. The latter two mentioned stamps are not visible because they were formerly hidden by layers of grease and grime, since completely removed. Being 'camera-challenged' and possessed of a digital camera incapable of being focused on detail, I am unable at present to improve on the auction house’s photographs, with the exception of some of the following personal photographs not requiring fine detail.



    The following photograph (or click on the provided link) is another produced by the auction house at my behest, which shows the condition of the Charles Daly gun at time of auction and its condition as received by me. The gun is noticeably covered with hardened, waxen appearing grime, which turned out to be layers of grease, whether axle or gun grease, mixed with neglectful decades of accumulated grime, darkly covering both metal and wood surfaces, front to end. Fortunately, these clogging and crystallized layers protected those very underlying surfaces they otherwise obscured and seemingly despoiled.



    After many hours of cleaning metal and wood with judicious applications of mineral spirits, Hoppe’s No. 9, assorted soft-bristled toothbrushes, and stacks of clean cotton rags, I was afterwards able to produce roughly representative photographs of my newly cleaned Charles Daly gun, which are shown below (or click on the provided links). By the way, the 100% incredible color case hardening once uncovered appeared far, far brighter and deeper color-wise when the metal was simply lightly oiled; although as depicted here, the metal is dry. The cleaned wood you see will be sensibly, professionally restored, as will be the fine quality and largely undamaged damascus barrels (not depicted), the bores of which remain literally mirror bright. All the grease and grime and that clogging the chequering have been patiently and very carefully removed.




    Thank you for whatever information or shared knowledge you care to provide, or comments you wish to make, any and all of which will be greatly appreciated. With my


    Best regards,

    Edwardian
    Last edited by Edwardian; 05-23-2014 at 08:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    What the APUN on the standing breech? Of course additional images would aide, but if the serial number is 298/444 the sporting weapon would date to the mid to late 1880s. LE was one of H.A. Lindner's subcontractors and a tubeset knitter. Not sure on the Saxony stamp but it's shelf life/use was short lived.

    Kind Regards,

    Raimey
    rse
    Last edited by ellenbr; 05-23-2014 at 10:48 AM.

  3. #3
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    Looks like several of the Schaefer retailed/finished sporting weapons wears the Saxony stamp. I would expect an APUN less than 200?

    Kind Regards,

    Raimey
    rse

  4. #4
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    23 May 2014


    "Raimey," thank you for your very informative response. My Charles Daly gun does not evince patent stamps, use stamps or associated numbers. The breech face is devoid of any stamps or marks or associated numerals, as is the water-table, with the exception of the "298" serial number, etc. While I have not seen an example of Schaefer's stamp or trademark, whether personally seen or images, I believe that American gun-maker and retailer's stamp is described as a "lamp"-like object positioned over Lindner's crossed pistols. Have you seen guns sold this company's, i.e. those sourced through Lindner, which also bear the "LE" barrel-maker's stamp?

    Following is an auction house photograph of the gun's standing breech, prior to my receipt of the gun and it being thoroughly cleaned. The supposed rust and rusty streaking seen is actually dried and crystallized grease or oil darkened with age, which was later wiped away with mineral spirits. The case hardening, complete and undisturbed everywhere as original, is underneath this grime; its tough, slick surface allowed the accumulated grime to be wiped away. Where not case hardened, the metal surfaces had been so highly polished by the maker nothing stuck to it, and the grime on those surfaces also wiped-off, the surfaces left shiny and untarnished.



    Next is an auction house photograph of the water-table, which too appears dirty and stained, but which has since been cleaned and the surface become a mirror. All working parts in view are now bright and shiny, with no discoloration.



    If applicable to our gun-maker and the action-type he employed, Anson & Deeley's 14-year patent protection expired sometime in 1889, so the 'basic gun,' sans the barrels which separately seem to be newer or post-1891 (because of the "SAXONY" country of origin barrel stamps), may date to 1889 or possibly 1890. I think, too, that the 'combining' of the constituent parts or completion of the subject gun probably took place post-1891. But my guess is based on the limited information to hand.

    This is also an ejector gun, the system is Deeley-type, although I think Lindner employed a local version of the same. The use of this ejector system might also help in dating the gun. The following image is another auction house photograph, and taken before the forearm and ejectors were given a basic cleaning (work as designed and extremely well, by the way). Much needed interior cleaning, necessitating stripping or take-down, will be done by an articled professional, as will be the wood and fine damascus barrels.



    Do we know anything more about barrel-maker "LE" with whom Lindner subcontracted the making/filing/joining of barrels? On another blog site, I recall seeing a dated list of barrel-maker's initials together with the serial numbers of Lindner-finished guns with barrels bearing the respective initials listed, and showed some attempt to identify the barrel-maker by name. As well, I saw elsewhere a single entry for "LE", which I believe attached to serial number 3494, if memory serves, another Charles Daly "Diamond Quality" hammerless gun like mine.

    Like you, I believe my gun dates to the late 1880s. I know the date range can perhaps be narrowed by identifying the work history of the barrel maker and H. A. (or Georg, for that matter) Lindner, which endeavor would presumably require a larger number of examples to examine. More than we presently have or are aware.

    A fact that I previously have not reported is that my gun has 3-inch chambers. This is the original, unaltered chamber length. I do not know when the 12-bore 3-inch cartridge first came in to use, not being a cartridge collector, but this fact, which I have not explored, might be helpful in dating the gun, when considered along with the other physical characteristics of this gun. Just a thought!

    Here is another photograph after some initial cleaning, note the reflection of the dust cover on the surface of the water-table; the color case is actually much brighter and colors deeper than depicted.



    Again, thank you for your response, which is greatly appreciated.


    Best regards,

    Edwardian
    Last edited by Edwardian; 06-28-2014 at 01:42 AM.

  5. #5
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    Georg pulled in his gun making shingle possibly in 1874. H.A. Lindner's perfection is based on Anson's improvement with belts and braces being an 1882 patent. I'm not sure if we know the last year an APUN was applied at a satellite stamping station.

    Kind Regards,

    Raimey
    rse
    Last edited by ellenbr; 05-23-2014 at 11:07 PM.

  6. #6
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    Anson's 1882 - Britain & 1884 - U.S. of A.

    I guess there are a couple of possibilities. One that it just wasn't stamped, but that seems unlikely. Another that it has screws where the overhanging and are there to fake the overhanging scear variant and possibly waited until the protection period lapsed. Another was that it was stuck back and completed after the protection period ended.

    Kind Regards,

    Raimey
    rse

  7. #7
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    23 May 2014


    "Raimey," thank you for your continued helpful and informative comments, and especially for copies of William Anson's 1884 U.S. patent application and detailed drawings. I like your suggested third option anent William Anson's overhanging scear patent of 1882 (U.S. patent protected in 1884), as I understand you, in which the gun was possibly inventoried until the patent protection period passed, which passage of time would have perhaps also included the use number requirement. With that in mind, I am going to speculate with what is currently known, hoping that I have my dates and facts reasonably correct.

    I believe your option is demonstrated by these facts: (1) the ejector system is based on Deeley's patent of 1886, as good as it got at the time, and not the better Southgate ejector system patented in 1889 (When did it have actually come into use? Maybe 1890 or latest 1891?), a development which one should think Lindner would have soonest possible have gravitated to because of its superiority and comparative simplicity; (2) there are no country of origin stamps on the water-table or the forearm iron (We will discuss the barrels below.), those required by law in (in accord with the U.S. McKinley Tariff Act of 1890) and effective in 1891 if the piece was intended for import into the United States, as all Lindner-finished Charles Daly gun were; (3) no proof house stamps in evidence, as were required by governing authority as of 1891, if memory serves, although there was a one-year or so leeway incorporated in to the new regulations; (4) the Lindner trademark in evidence is the elder crown-over-crossed-pistols in use through 1891, but not much later, because the authorities, as you know, chose to use the crown symbol together with their proof marks, causing Lindner to employ after 1892 or so the "HAL" over-crossed-pistols trademark instead; (5) however, the barrels by themselves neatly create a time-gap between them and the gun's other constituent parts because they, unlike any other of the gun's parts, are marked "SAXONY" in declaration of their country of origin, which requisite identification had its beginning in 1891; and (6) the numeric series "444" also appears stamped underside of the right barrel, though we do not know the true time period in which "LE" 'knitted' barrel sets for Lindner.

    So I posit that between 1886 and 1889, or latest, 1890, the major parts of the subject gun were indeed completed and inventoried, and Lindner and/or the controlling authority for inventory awaited the patent and patent use numbers expiries protecting the use of the mechanics and designs incorporated in this gun. The barrels were built some time subsequent to the major parts being placed into inventory. The time for the gun's completion and disposition arrived after 1890, but surely before the full effect of the governmental proof house stamp requirements were established and governing the trade, following the grace period prior to their final imposition. Based on the foregoing, l would suggest in or about 1890 to 1892 as the estimated date range for the completion of the Charles Daly gun.

    Still seeking information on the mysterious barrel-maker, "LE". I think his identity and nationality may be helpful in understanding the business of constructing Lindner guns and also provide a better understanding of those guns bearing serial numbers in the 200-400 range. The difficulty is, as you point out, LE's career was exceedingly brief, few comparative examples of Lindner-marked productions combining his work product exist, and the many trade sources and highly skilled outworkers available to Lindner, as well as his selective though extensive employment of these outworkers, makes discerning the identity of "LE" the more difficult.

    Again, thank you for your very informative and helpful comments. I greatly appreciate them all.


    Best regards,

    Edwardian
    Last edited by Edwardian; 05-24-2014 at 02:33 AM.

  8. #8
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    I'll get to the mechanic LE, one of a talented pool of mechanics that H.A. Lindner pressed on in order to fill S,D&G's orders. H.A. Lindner was more of quality control than anything & it was the talented pool of mechanics that made it happen. The stocking effort is very seldom address and for now I have few ideas regarding the mechanics sourced here and I'm not sure when Schäftermeister Rudolf Finke was active. But back to your example, I'd be hard pressed to put faith in a 76mm chambers without hard data. I think that early on that this example was destined to W.R. Schaefer of Boston and maybe a client cancelled an order. Then Daly had Lindner to press into service on another occasion. So you are confident that you have overhanging and intercepting scears? By 1891 much thought was dedicated to the new proof law and I'm sure the 2nd set of H.A. Lindner serialization was conceived. I'm highly confident that H.A. Lindner 2nd series Nr. 430 was completed & onhand between January and April 1893. But the 2nd series wears the HAL over crossed sidearms. Yours is not 2nd series as per the Crown over crossed sidearms so for sure some more thought, and more than likely out loud on the keyboard, must be given.

    Kind Regards,

    Raimey
    rse

  9. #9
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    W.R. Schaefer had 289, 495, 593, 610 but then there is the odd ball Daly 394. For now I still content that early on it was destined to W.R. Schaefer(& Sohn) of Boston. It will take a bit to time to sort out those known examples of Schaefer with the Saxony stamp. Remember Daly & Schaefer were real chummy during this time and Schaefer was an outlet for Daly's wares.

    Kind Regards,

    Raimey
    rse

  10. #10
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    Certainly by 1883 partners W. R. Schaefer and J. K. R. Schaefer are noted as peddling hammerless scatterguns. Daly was more than likely their primary source.

    Kind Regards,

    Raimey
    rse

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