Cook & Brother Rifle
|Description and Photograph||
Ferdinand and Francis Cook, emigrants from England, determined “that rifles could be made here as well as in Yankee land or in Europe.” And proceeded to open a weapon manufactory at Number One, Canal Street in New Orleans in June of 1861. Mr. Cook knew what he was talking about, and what he was doing. The rifle they produced was said by an ordnance officer to be "superior to any that I have seen of Southern manufacture." And its quality truly was not excelled in the South, and, with the exception of the raw materials, not in the world.
The company moved to Athens, Georgia when New Orleans surrendered in April 1862, and set up a manufactory to produce rifles, carbines, bayonets swords, carbine slings, pikes, etc.
The rifle shown here is serial number 3071 and is very well marked. The serial number is on the lock plate, barrel, rear band, front band, and the nose cap; all match.
The exterior is stamped with the Confederate First National Flag and Cook & Brother Athens GA. 1864, and serial number 6386. The rifle is one hundred percent original and unaltered but is missing the rear swivel. As is often found with later rifles, the serial numbers are mixed. The nose cap is number 4828, the lower band 4828; only the number 4 can be seen on the upper band. The barrel in front of the breech is number 4967. Ideally, they would all match, and would bring a premium, but unlike most guns, the mismatched numbers do not kill its value, because it is well known that this is often the case. The rack or collection number 13 is stamped into the butt tang. The wood is sharp, but has numerous scratches and dings. The only downside is that someone back then caused a sliver to come out at the rear of the barrel tang by removing the barrel carelessly, and there is much chipping around the lock from someone prying the lock out with a tool. Both of these were done long, long ago, probably in service.
The lock markings are some of the best ever seen; the metal is beautiful and has the desirable twist lines. Even the ramrod is original. With the exception of the chipping around the lock, this is one of the best examples you will ever see, and it is the best value I have seen on a Cook Rifle in my whole career.