Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction - Session I - September 15, 2023

Fri, Sep 15, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 885

Rare Virginia Shaver Family Attributed Percussion Rifle

Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

(William and Daniel Shaver, B. 1802 and 1812, Rockingham County, Virginia, produced rifles in Augusta County, Virginia, circa 1830-1860) .50 caliber, heavy 46 in. deeply rifled octagonal barrel, wide flat rear sight, inlaid dovetail bone blade front sight, engraved percussion lock with indiscernible lettering, engraved cock, figured maple full stock, brass patch box with pierced decorative design and articulated mans head with pointed nose finial, two piece brass butt plate, silver inlaid eight point star on cheek rest, intricate incised vine and leaf decoration around edge of cheek rest culminating in a swirl at the wrist, triangular silver inlay to top of comb, silver oval inlay on top of grip, more intricate incised vine and leaf decoration around the edge of the action on both sides of the stock with four other abstract incised marks, elongated silver inlays on either side of stock below rear sight with acorn finials with more incised vine decoration, elongated silver inlay under stock, three pairs of two elongated silver inlays inset down opposing sides of fore stock, brass fore stock cap, faceted ram rod pipes and thimble, faceted trigger guard, double set triggers, ramrod, 62-1/4 in.

Provenance: Timothy Hodges, Winchester, Virginia

Note: There is little documentation on the Shaver family of gunsmiths. They started out in Rockingham County, Virginia but it is believed the bulk of their production took place in Augusta County, Virginia  Their rifles emulate the style of master gunsmith Alexander McGilvray, also of Rockingham County, with folksy decorations and details and a similar style of architecture and form.  The Shavers did not produce flintlock rifles and no signed rifles by the Shavers are known.  This rifle is thought to be one of their more embellished examples and possibly made by William Shaver.


rust in bore, patina and oxidation to exterior of barrel, staple repair to 1-1/2 hairline to stock at sidelock on left side, staple repair to 5-1/2 in. hairline crack to right side of stock at rear sight, handling wear to stock consistent with age and use, tiny hairline at side plate screw, staining to brass ramrod thimbles and pipe, staining and patina to other brass elements, likely loss of blade to front sight, possibly altered rear sight, cock and triggers can be manipulated with effort but not recommended

Timothy Hodges, Winchester, Virginia