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    Joseph Perkins Rifle Barrel

    Appraised Value:


    Appraised on: July 26, 2003

    Appraised in: Chicago, Illinois

    Appraised by: William Guthman

    Category: Arms & Militaria

    Episode Info: Chicago, Hour 3 (#803)

    Originally Aired: January 19, 2004

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Rifle
    Material: Metal
    Period / Style: 18th Century
    Value Range: $1,500

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    Appraisal Video: (2:04)


    Appraised By:

    William Guthman
    Arms & Militaria

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: My dad found this barrel in a corner of a barn that was about ready to be tore down.

    APPRAISER: Where was the barn?

    GUEST: The barn was in Morris, Illinois.

    APPRAISER: And you thought it was an interesting barrel.

    GUEST: Yeah, I thought it was really neat. Immediately, I could tell it was an octagon-around barrel, and I'm a re-enactor, so I was interested and I just wanted to clean it up a little bit, so I just started cleaning it.

    APPRAISER: Let me tell you, it's really a fascinating barrel, and it's got so much on it. First of all, it has the name of the maker.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: And that's J. Perkins.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: That was Joseph Perkins. And Joseph Perkins started out at Rappahannock Forge in Virginia in 1776, which was a famous Revolutionary War armory. Then he moved to Philadelphia, and he worked on guns in Philadelphia until he went to New London, Virginia, where he was master armorer and then he went to Harper's Ferry where he was master armorer in 1803. So he had quite a history.

    GUEST: Sure.

    APPRAISER: This must've been one heck of a gun. I wish you had the whole thing, but you got plenty.

    GUEST: That was all there was.

    APPRAISER: You've got an American eagle.

    GUEST: Uh-huh.

    APPRAISER: That's a really early, frog-legged eagle.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: Dates this barrel to the late 18th century.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: And then you've got his name.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: And then you've got little animals and crosshatching. It's really... It's a document. It's engraved like a horn.

    GUEST: Mm-hmm.

    APPRAISER: And it must have been a super fowling piece.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: And have you any idea what it's worth?

    GUEST: No, actually, I have no idea.

    APPRAISER: Well, I've never seen anything like it, and it's hard to put a value on it.

    GUEST: Sure.

    APPRAISER: But as a document of early American gunsmithing, you've got all this wonderful engraving on it.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: I think that if I saw it, I'd grab it for $1,500 in a second.

    GUEST: Wow.

    APPRAISER: I really would.

    GUEST: Unreal. That's great.

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