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View Full Version : Jager Rifle, Morgenroth In Gernrode


heyjerr
12-23-2010, 12:47 PM
Hello,

A coworker of mine asked me to take a look at a rifle his family has had for several generations. I didn't expect anything too fancy but was blown away when I saw it.

It is a large bore percussion cap rifle with 8 grooves and is marked "Morgenroth In Gernrode". The really interesting part is the amount of detail....lots of embellishments with virtually every part engraved in some fashion. I took it up to Krausewerk in San Mateo and they told me it is a German hunting (Jager) rifle, hence the hunting motif.

I am wondering if anyone here can tell me more about this rifle. He is not looking to part with it although the wife has a different mindset. I've included a few pictures in this thread but have a complete gallery posted at http://heyjerr.smugmug.com/Hobbies/1800s-Jager-Gun/15181619_KPsu8#1135589004_4JFst

http://heyjerr.smugmug.com/Hobbies/1800s-Jager-Gun/IMG1410/1135589545_fHS74-L-1.jpg

http://heyjerr.smugmug.com/Hobbies/1800s-Jager-Gun/IMG1419/1135590614_sqejB-XL.jpg

http://heyjerr.smugmug.com/Hobbies/1800s-Jager-Gun/IMG1437/1135591576_kn827-XL.jpg

A quick search on the internet didn't yield too much, other than the general range of 1830 -1850 for its age. Any info or leads you could provide would be appreciated. I'm quite curious to know more about it.

thanks,
jerry

hk91666
12-23-2010, 1:51 PM
Beautiful Rifle

cntrolsguy
12-23-2010, 2:54 PM
:shock::tt1:

Donkeypunch0420
12-23-2010, 2:55 PM
Wow, very nice. Sorry, I have no real info for you, but my girlfriends step-dad has a Jager rifle on his wall. The trigger guard is somewhat different, as it continues further towards the buttstock and forms to the hand. Also, it doesn't have the nice engraving work on the top, so perhaps this is a fancier model. Somebody told me it was worth about 600-700 bucks, but I do not have a Blue Book, so I'm not really sure.

heyjerr
12-23-2010, 3:30 PM
Value may be tough. I found a few auctions online from this maker and they were $5500. The guy at Krausewerk guessed it could be a 10k gun if in pristine condition, with this one maybe only being worth 2k.

I thought it was cool that it had some patches and a bullet in the box. It didn't feel right to clean up the bullet, so I left it alone.

v/dBrink
12-23-2010, 3:43 PM
Don't take this to a gunshop hoping for information. Gunshops are generally pretty ignorant about guns, strange as that may sound. They sell guns. That doesn't mean they're experts on much of anything.

This rifle needs appraisal by an expert. That means $$$$. You don't get something for free when there's money involved. The owner wants to know how much it's worth then he needs to pay for a professional appraisal and not take it to a gunshop thinking he's going to get a straight answer.

It's worth more than $600-700. There is no "Blue Book" on such things. It's worth upwards of $1,800-2,000 roughly. The owner needs to cease taking it apart before he breaks something that will cost him dearly.

The closest thing to a "Blue Book" is a professional auction house. This is where you find experts on this kind of firearm. But don't expect them to take their time to educate you or give free appraisals. If you want top dollar you'll have to work for it.
http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=4027064

heyjerr
12-23-2010, 4:04 PM
Finding the value of this rifle is only a secondary consideration, at least for me. Aside from a professional reviewing it, any "quotes" thrown out are just guesses. I'm more curious to find out when it might have been made and any other historic information.

Now that I think about it, if there are enough low numbers out there it might make it easy for me to get it from him. :D It is damn purdy. Ahhhh, like I need another gun....

swifty
12-23-2010, 4:20 PM
F. Morgenroth is the name that comes up. Gernrode is a town in Germany.

Argonaut
12-23-2010, 5:31 PM
These guns were all hand built by guilds (a group of gunsmiths) or an individual. The guilds usually had a group of people that had different specialties that got together to build a rifle, Someone would do wood, someone the mechanism and maybe someone else the engraving. They were frequently centered around a geographic region (like Suhl) This gun shows very high quality workmanship and would bring a high price that would only be limited by the pocketbooks of people bidding on it any given day. It has some typical German/Austrian features that were imported to our country by German gunsmiths like set triggers. I have not been able to figure out the forward lock assembly with the separate spring. Maybe it allowed the gun to be fired by either a cap or a flint? I wonder if it was a WW2 bring back......our GI's "liberated" a lot of fine items after the war. It is obviously a lovely piece. The firearms Museum in Suhl is very helpful in researching this type of gun, It is unusual enough they may even know who it was owned by or built for.

jaq
12-23-2010, 5:53 PM
Finding the value of this rifle is only a secondary consideration, at least for me. Aside from a professional reviewing it, any "quotes" thrown out are just guesses. I'm more curious to find out when it might have been made and any other historic information.

Now that I think about it, if there are enough low numbers out there it might make it easy for me to get it from him. :D It is damn purdy. Ahhhh, like I need another gun....

Of course we all know that you don't really mean you would cheat your friend :-| That would suck in the long run, wouldn't it? Nah, of course you don't mean it ;-)

It is a beautiful rifle, and a wonderful piece of history.

heyjerr
12-23-2010, 9:39 PM
...I have not been able to figure out the forward lock assembly with the separate spring. Maybe it allowed the gun to be fired by either a cap or a flint? I wonder if it was a WW2 bring back......our GI's "liberated" a lot of fine items after the war.

I went to Krausewerk because they specialize in older firearms, particularly German items. They are a small shop tucked away and hold odd hours....they are not a typical shop. The owner told me that the forward mechanism prevents the hammer from hitting the cap, acting like a safety mechanism. My guess is that it could also hold the cap in place.....keep in mind I have zero experience with percussion caps & the mindset/behaviors of the hunters that owned them originally. I did find it interesting that it has a "half cocked" position that it can't be fired from (note the lip in the picture of the mechanism in the gallery pix). That and the "safety" makes me think they really didn't want to go off half-cocked. Once that second trigger is set, the front trigger is verrrrry light.

As far as he knows, this rifle has been in his family since before WWI, so it isn't a bringback.


Of course we all know that you don't really mean you would cheat your friend :-| That would suck in the long run, wouldn't it? Nah, of course you don't mean it ;-)

It is a beautiful rifle, and a wonderful piece of history.

Nah, screwing a friend over isn't how I roll. If it was, I wouldn't post it in a public thread, highlight the comment with a smiley and send him the link so he can follow the conversation. :chris:

Argonaut
12-23-2010, 9:43 PM
Well, It is a lovely old girl, deserves the best care and preservation. Send a note and a photo to the Suhl arms museum, they will help you out. The second mechanism might help keep the cap dry? I hunted in Germany for many years and it is wet a lot. The early caps were none too reliable being made with anhydrous chemicals. Set triggers are wonderful, most of my favorite rifles pistols have them.

a.tinkerer
12-24-2010, 10:26 PM
This maker is known for high grade hunting rifles of this quality and this level of embellishment.
There have been a couple of articles on this maker in the Double Gun Journal.

The old dude at Krauserwerke was just about right on with this rifle.
In crisp and clean shape it'd definitely value in the ~$10,000 range.
In the condition I'm seeing in the photos a couple grand is more accurate.
The bore looks usable.
I wonder how the breech looks.
The wood looks ok under the metal, the metal looks ok under the wood...




If I owned it, I'd run it -- I'd hunt with it.






Cheers
Tinker

novalondon
12-24-2010, 10:38 PM
www.ima-usa.com
www.rockislandauctions.com
You might drop a line or call the folks at one or both of the sites above if your wanting to sell the rifle. If your looking for a true value one or both may have a knowledge based person on the left coast to help out.
Sweet rifle, has a mid 1800s style Enfield shaped stock and side plate from what I can see in the photos.

Tallship
12-25-2010, 7:15 AM
I did find it interesting that it has a "half cocked" position that it can't be fired from (note the lip in the picture of the mechanism in the gallery pix). That and the "safety" makes me think they really didn't want to go off half-cocked.

Most percussion cap guns have a half-cock position, as that is the position that you use to put the cap on the nipple, because you really don't want the gun going off as you are placing the cap on the nipple.

a.tinkerer
12-25-2010, 5:46 PM
This rifle is in no way trying to emulate an Enfield.
I don't see Enfield trying to emulate the German hunting rifle either.
Totally different everything.
That rifle was built some time around 1820-1850!
HERE (http://www.gernrode-harz.de/) is where it is from.
Morgenroth was a master gun builder who built for royalty.

has a mid 1800s style Enfield shaped stock and side plate from what I can see in the photos.


Also I'd hesitate to consult a military surplus vendor/collector/auctioner in regard to finding values for this rifle, there's not enough overlap in the milsurp geeks and the fine sporting arms crowd.
Look at completed auction items from Christies or Holts or Bohnams, similar rifles from this maker in similar condition come up from time to time, and they sell in the neighborhood of a couple grand.
Condition is everything.
This one is rough but complete.
Did you notice the wrench flat skidmarks on the barrel at the breech for instance?
That hammer looks like a replacement too.


Cheers
Tinker

VegasND
12-25-2010, 6:13 PM
Very nice, thanks for sharing. Please keep us posted on what you discover and I'll look forward to learning more about this rifle.

GuyW
12-25-2010, 7:29 PM
My "sense" is that this gun is worth more than $2k, and that possibly a restoration / cleanup at some level would raise the price as well. However, I don't know a dang thing concrete about it.

"Morgenroth In Gernrode"

....sounds like a line from the Princess Bride....

.

OHOD
12-25-2010, 7:29 PM
Simply beautiful.
I'm a sucker for furniture. There is something about the beauty of the grain. Imagine back when that rifle was made, the person that owned it was not a peasant.
History beauty engineering.
I love guns.

a.tinkerer
12-25-2010, 7:59 PM
Here's an archive of a Christies auction (http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=4027064) from 2002, when the collector market was hotter, and the dollar meant a bit more than it does today.
Here's another (http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=2972721), but possibly more ornate, and with provenance - from an earlier auction.

My "sense" is that this gun is worth more than $2k, and that possibly a restoration / cleanup at some level would raise the price as well. However, I don't know a dang thing concrete about it.


The (first linked) description discusses a rifle very very similar to the one relative to this thread.
Our friend's rifle above shows significant losses to the barrel surface and finish, has replacement parts - not of the maker or region, and what appear to be a couple cracks to the stock, also missing the original ramrod.
No big deal, it's a really neat rifle and I'd love to own it or one just like it.
No doubt it would be a really sweet hunting rifle too.

Any attempt at modern restoration or rehab will only diminish the value of the rifle, unless its done by someone in the northern european high grade gun trade.
Still, any money spent on restoration will never come back as resale value.
That rifle needs to stay as it is and either keep it's owner happy or make it's new owner happy.




Cheers
Tinker