Signed "H * S" Henry Spitzer, New Market, Virginia ca 1815
Possibly the best example of a signed Henry Spitzer rifle known to date. The Spitzer family has a long and important history in Shenadoah County beginning when Henry moved to New Market in the spring of 1795. He moved from the Forks of the James area of Rockbridge county, VA where he likely learned the trade.
The rifle exhibits a wonderful display of artisitc ability. The patchbox is beautifully designed and engraved with rococo and floral motifs as well as sad faces on either side of the lid hinge. Incise carving, silver inlays, silver wire, and engraving are all used to effectively decorate this rifle. Because of the few signed examples of Henry's work, a number of his pieces are attributable. The rifled barrel is 44.5 inches about .45 cal and signed in engraved blocke letters "H * S". A very fine and desirable rifle in great condition.
Available at $32,500.00
Photo Credit Mark Elliot
Signed "G Slaysman" George Slaysman, Mifflin County, PA ca 1820
A highly artistic gunsmith, George Slaysman worked in Mifflin County in his early years. He moved to Huntingdon and then to Jefferson County, PA where he died in 1862 at age 80. He may have apprenticed to Andrew Kopp; his early rifles appear to exhibit some Emmistburg influence.
The rifle exhibits a wonderful array of artisitc ability. The patchbox is wonderfully designed and engraved as are the cheekpiece inlays. His carved checkering on the wrist is well designed and executed. And, the glorious chip-carved eagle behind the cheekpiece is both singular and superb. The 41 inch .50 cal barrel is signed in script " G Slaysman". The stock is of good quality curly maple and has one minor repair at the toe where there are cracks in the original wood, which should be repaired more professionally. This is a pleasing rifle by a rare and esteemed maker.
Available at $19,500.00
Signed "A N Jackson" Catawba Valley, North Carolina ca 1825
Information about A N Jackson is scarce. By the examples in existance it appears he worked around Chambersburg, then Virginia, and finally North Carolina. He probably worked as a journeyman, never owned land, and never had to pay taxes. He was a good workman. This rifle has charcteristics of the Catawba Valley School. it is in very good condition with beautiful curly maple, what appears to be the original lock in unaltered flintlock condition, and nice incised carving. A longer tang was added to the barrel to increase strength through the wrist area, although I see no cracks. Barrel length is 41.5 inches, about .50 CAL. A pleasing North Carolina rifle in good condition with nice curly maple and a strong signature.
available at $4,950
Photo Credit Mark Elliot
Unsigned Jacob Juntz, Philadelphia, PA ca 1820
Jacob Kuntz is a prolific and accomplished rifle maker who worked in Northhampton County and moved in 1810 to Philadelphia. Kuntz' artistic designs, carving, engraving, and overall workmanship were at ease with other great craftsmen of Philadelphia. This rifle exhibits a restrained decoration but displays his ability in engraving, incised carving, and workmanship. The condition is phenominal as it appears to be unused. It has not been repaired, restored, cleaned, polished, or any of the usual methods to enhance condition. It is near perfect!
Ex Coll. Jack Plunket
AVAILABE AT $34,500
Signed "J Roop" Jacob Roop, Halifax, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania ca 1815
Jacob Roop's work is always appealing and well done. He probably learned his trade in York from a really great master; possibly Samuel Grove. His signature during this period appears as small stamped block letters on the barrel. He added many silver inlays on this rifle as well as a silver oval cheek piece inlay and silver thumb plate. The 41 & 1/2 inch rifled barrel is the original length. Curly maple of medium quality was used and there is no damage or replacements. Of particular interest; the lock is marked "Sweitzer" (a well know lock maker of the period), is original to the rifle, and in orignal flintlock condition (never converted to percussion). The patchbox is masterfully engraved as is the toe plate. The rifle is in as perfect condition as could be expected and far exceeds the condition of most; a safe investment.
Available at $6950.00
Signed "T * Hefs" Thomas Hess, Allemeangel, Berks County, Pennsylvania ca 1825
Thomas Hess son of gunsmith Philip Hess made this fine rifle in the late flintlock period in the Allemeangel region. He used a variety of materials and techniques for decoration. Ebonized wood appears between the upper and lower plates of the patchbox and around the silver eagle inlay on the cheek piece. He used bone and mother of pearl inlays as well as silver. The rear ramrod pipe tail and fore end cap are both heavily faceted. A pierced toe plate, pierced side plate, and vent pick holder make this an especially decorative rifle unusual for this region.
The original length barrel is 43.5 inches having a deeply rifled .60 cal bore. The decorative side plate is cracked in 2 places and poorly restored. A small round wood plug near the toe is the only wood repair. Most of the original surface remains. This fully developed example of Thomas Hess' work is a rarity.
AVAILABLE at $6,850
Unsigned Gentleman's Target Rifle, Tennessee or Mississippi, ca 1850
This iron mounted target rifle has superior construction, excellent condition, and is singular in design and execution of its decoration. Every element is hand made, hand decorated, with no signature. Decorative details include a series of punched circles forming borders and circular silver inserts amoungst the punchwork borders. I believe this gunsmith trained under one of the masters of The Cumberland, the area of central Tennessee and southern Kentucky. He probably moved west to Nashville and later Memphis or south to Natchez. Taking a second look at the decoration you may notice a gambling or casino theme. According to family history the rifle was purchased in Memphis in the 1940's. Whatever this man's history he was a master gunsmith. The 38 & 1/2 inch .42 cal rifled barrel has a cast German silver patent breech with a decorative adjustable rear sight.
A peep sight with a hooded front sight was added later. The cheekpiece inlay is unusual as is the decorative toeplate. Ther triggerguard is a masterpiece of ironwork including several circular inlays of silver amoungst his punchwork boder decoration. Only the most advanced blacksmith could fabricate this trigger guard ending in such a masterful volute. The collector who steps up to this rifle will appreciate and enjoy it; it is superb. email me for more pictures.
Available at $2,950.00