“AS FOUND” JOHN HAGA ATTRIBUTED RELIEF CARVED & ENGRAVED FLINTLOCK RIFLE, EX-KINDIG COLLECTION, CIRCA 1805
inv # 01-18496
Overall length: 62″
Cal. .52. NSN. 62” Overall, 46” oct. to round smoothbore bbl. w/ fixed notch rear sight & inset brass blade on teardrop pedestal front sight. This rifle is pictured & described in “Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in its Golden Age” by Joe Kindig, Jr. 1960, (pages 142-146, No. 47). Curly maple stock, relief & incised carving on butt stock, relief carved decoration rear of tang, incised carving on either side of rear bbl. key. Incised perimeter lines run length of forestock & along molding bottom of butt to trigger guard. Engraved 4 piece patch box has a light folky 1854 dated inscription for a past owner as noted in Kindig.
John Haga (1770-1837) worked as a gunsmith in Lancaster County & is listed in the tax records for Cocalico Township between 1800 & 1809.
There are about 10 John Haga attributed or signed rifles known, all have similar characteristics in carving, engraving & architecture. This rifle has characteristics that Kindig states make John Haga’s work attributable when not signed. “No. 47 has fine curl, but it does not show in the photograph because of the very dark finish. John Haga’s carving is very distinctive, & there is a very close similarity in the carving— especially to the rear of the cheekpiece…”. All… of these guns have the same kind of latch release: a button placed in the butt plate near the patch box lid. This type of release was used a good deal in the Womelsdorf-Reading area. John Haga’s rifles are usually extremely long and slender; the bbls. on these 3 average about 47″. His guns have a high comb & a wrist that extends far back toward the buttplate. John Haga made rifles that are quite beautiful although not elaborate…No. 47 is an unsigned rifle which I feel certain was made by John Haga.”