Unsigned William Shaver, Rockingham/Augusta County, Virginia ca 1835


Added on: June 28, 2023

Please Contact The Artisan Directly for Purchasing Information:

All Sales are handled between the seller and buyer. The CLA has no involvement in the exchange.

Product Description

The following information appears on Courtney Wilson’s website “Little is written about the Shaver family of gunsmiths but both William (b. 1802) and Daniel (b. 1812) made some fine rifles in the percussion period 1830-60. The Shavers originated in Rockingham County and their riflemaking style, architecture and the folksy engraving and details were heavily influenced by Alexander McGilvray, Rockingham County’s most prolific rifle maker. The bulk of their work, however, was apparently done just south of Rockingham County in Augusta County on the road to Staunton, Virginia. To the best of my knowledge no signed rifles are known by this family”

This example is one of the best and most original examples of their work. The rifled barrel is 43 inches long about .40 cal. Though made in the percussion period this rifle exhibits much earlier architecture and style. None of the rifles known by William or Daniel were made in the flintlock period. The patchbox finial has a mans head with a pointed nose; a folkish and desirable detail. The Shavers always used a wavy line with gouge work as a decorative detail around the curved cheekpiece. This example has that as well as on the fore arm. Both silver double acorn inlays are missing. The lock appears to be an old replacement contemporary with use as it is a single screw lock.

The forward lock bolt and comma shaped washer is missing and a sliver of wood is missing near the fore end cap. The curly maple is exquisite but the wonderful old surface dampens it. Few rifles appear on the market in untouched condition; this example had not been cleaned or tampered with in over 100 years; as a result the surface has a matte finish that should not be removed or tampered with. Replacing the mising inlays, changing the lock, and restoring the sliver of wood could be avoided to maintain the orinigality and attic condition of this rifle. Just leave it alone and enjoy an unmolested piece of Shenandoah Valley history.

Please Contact Artisan Directly for Purchasing Information:

Timothy Hodges
844 Round Hill Road

Winchester, VA

Phone: (540) 662-5438