Jacob Gross II was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee in 1790. He was the father of Alfred Farington Gross. Jacob married Sarah Farrington in 1812 and died in 1872. This fine rifle was made and is marked for Jesse Offield, who also lived in Sullivan County. Offield was born in 1788 in Sullivan County in a cabin near the Holston Valley, probably close to the Gross farm. He fought in the War of 1812. He moved to Illinois and then to Lock Springs, Missouri, in 1840 or 1841. He died in Davies County, Missouri, in 1849. Offield was a blacksmith and had 7 children. The rifle itself has an octagon barrel with 3 silver triangles inlaid at the muzzle on top 3 flats. Front sight has a brass mount with silver blade. Buckhorn rear sight. Towards breech there is a 4" silver inlaid plaque stamped "J. GROSS FOR*JESSE OFFIELD" with floral engraving in front of and behind the inlaid panel. The long iron barrel tang extends all the way into the brass inlaid buttplate extension. The lock has a rounded stepped tail with engraved scroll designs, center stamped "M.M. MASLIN / WARRANTED". Lock features a roller frizzen and waterproofed pan. The rifle has double-set triggers. The large brass 4-piece patchbox has 8 piercings and is engraved. Iron trigger guard with large brass saddle wear plate retained by iron screws that extends from the front of trigger guard all the way into the ramrod entry ferrule. The long brass toeplate extends all the way to the rear trigger guard tang. Iron trigger guard and buttplate of East Tennessee form. Brass sideplate escutcheons surround both lock screws. Barrel retained by 3 brass barrel keys. Silver oval inlays on both sides of wrist, a silver rectangle above cheekpiece, and a shaped silver inlaid pick holder below cheekpiece. Highly figured tiger maple stock of classic early East Tennessee form with high comb. Barrel was shortened by 4" during period of use. Complete with its original rope-stained wooden ramrod.
CONDITION: Barrel retains a brown patina with scattered areas of deep pitting on front 17". Lock is in its original flintlock configuration and retains a brown patina. Brass retains a mellow soft patina and iron retains a brown patina. Stock shows some raised grain and roughness at front 17", commensurate with barrel. A very attractive signed and identified Tennessee rifle.
From the Louie Parker Collection.