I recently acquired this Civil War era antique gun rest and hope someone can help me figure out if it is true to the period. It is a tripod using the middle leg to adjust the height of the leather covered top gun rest. The length when folded flat is about 16 Inches. The gun rest is about 4 inches wide. The legs are about 3/4 inch square at the top and taper down in size to the bottom. It is constructed of oak with brass hardware hinges and belt hanger. The bottom of the legs are wrapped in lacquered string and the stakes are 4 sided steel chisel points that screw into the bottom of the legs. The outside legs fold out about 67-68 degrees apart and the middle leg swivels nearly a full 180 degrees. The leather cover on the rest is held in place by tiny little brass brads. The wood, brass, string and leather all appear to have honest age to them. I have inspected this with a fine tooth comb and can find absolutely no manufacture marks of any kind. The craftsmanship is superb and precise as if built by a experienced cabinet maker. I have more detailed photos of all the sections of this if anyone thinks further scrutiny is warranted. Has anyone in this forum ever seen a similar gun rest? Is it in actuality from the 1860's? I question it simply because it is in such good condition to be that old. Any help in identifying it and it's age would be most appreciated.
Here are some closer views of the brass hinge hardware. There are actually 3 brass hinges. You will see in one of the photos that they appear to have been silver brazed together to form one cohesive 3 hinge unit. There are also brass plates on the inside of the top of the legs that have threaded holes for the hinge brass mounting machine screws to anchor to.
I think it may have been used aboard ship for a small deck gun. The radius is too big for a rifle, and I don't see nails being needed to hold the tripod steady on the ground, but they would bite into deck planks nicely for stability. Just a guess.....
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