Signed "John M Conway" Winchester, Virginia ca 1815
An extremely fine rifle by another maker associated with Simon Lauck. Inspired by earlier characteristics of Winchester, Virginia. The rifle is in nice condition with old surfaces, superb curly maple, and sculpted carving in the Winchester style. The "Warranted" lock is original to the rifle and perfectly reconverted. The 42.5 inch rifled .45 cal barrel is it's original length.
The butt stock is shaped in the style used by Simon and his sons Simon Jr, John, and Jacob with deeply sculptured carving, engraved oval cheekpiece inlay, and silver inlays interspersed within the carving. Engraved silver double acorn escutcheons protect the wood around the barrel keys and are placed within the broken forestock molding so typical of the Laucks. A beautifully pierced and engraved combplate adds to the artistic statement.
Four other John Conway rifles exist. One in the Kindig collection, made in Winchester, and pictured on the cover of Whiskers book on Virginia rifles, one made after he moved to Kentucky, the third also in the Kindig collection made either in Winchester or Kentucky, and the forth pictured in Whiskers book on VA rifles incorrectly attributed to Henry Sheets. Few southern rifles exist in this condition with this level of decoration. Minor wood replacements are done to perfection. All mounts, inlays, decorative details are original to the rifle.
(photo credit Mark Elliott)