Unsigned John Gonter, Columbia, Lancaster County or Berks County, PA ca 1820
A superb example of another artisitc creation by the talented gunsmith John Gonter. On this well executed rifle he used a lock made by D Dana of Canton, Mass. (It is possible that Dana made the rifle as some details point to New England manufacture ie. decorative cross hatching at wrist and incised carving on fore arm). Other examples of Gonter's work include the slight Roman nose architecture, lid release under the toe plate, rounded back sideplate, and diminishing arched gouges at C scrolls in the carving.
The relief carving is exceptional in design and execution. An interesting inlay resembling a saw blade under the cheekpiece may indicate its original owner was a sawyer. The rifled 45 cal barrel is now 45 inches long. Some wood resoration along the fore arm and forestock; the fore end cap is original. All brass mounts are original as is the lock, though perfectly reconverted.
Available at $7,980.00
Unsigned Isaac Ribelin, Morgan Township, Rowan County, North Carolina, ca 1825
Rifles by Isaac Ribelin are rare and highly sought after. He worked in Rowan County, North Carolina during the second quarter of the 19th century. Famous for the "Christmas Tree" patchbox, a long slender form with horns ending in a tapered tip, deeply sculpted cheekpiece, and well-formed molding around the trigger guard.
The rifle exhibits a wonderful array of artisitc ability. The patchbox is nicely engraved as is the cheekpiece inlay, thumb plate, and sideplate. His carved moldings around the trigger guard, comb, and lock mortice are well done. Ribelin's work is unique and recognizable. Though highly restored this rifle offers the North Carolina rifle collector an oppotunity to own the essential aspects of Ribelin's work at an affordable price. Restoration details will be discussed with those who are seriously interested.
Available at $12,500.00
Unsigned Frederick Sell, Littlestown, PA ca 1815
A unique relief carved example of Frederick Sell's work. Probably made as a wagon rifle, it is short and easy to handle in the event of a crisis. The large bore was designed to shoot shot so as to inflick a wide pattern of destruction! Alot of artistic workmanship is present on an otherwise utilitarian example.
The 33.5 inch smoothbore .69 cal barrel is the original length and is of American manufacture; fitted with open sights. The lock is original to the rifle and converted to percussion. Good quality curly maple is carved in Sell's typical style and has an undisturbed finish; the photos do NOT show the depth and rich color accurately. There is no restoration, loss, or damage to the rifle; the condition is excellent and all original. A rare and unique example of Sell's work at a reasonable price.
available at $4,950
SOLD Signed "S Hess" Solomon Hess, Allemeangel School, Heidelberg Township, PA ca 1825
A unique and decorative example of the Hess family of gunsmiths, in particular, Solomon's work. This example exhibits many nice details and is in great condition. The areas between the patchbox upper and lower paltes and lid as well as the piercings in the eagle cheekpiece inlay are ebonized. The pierced and engraved scrollwork sideplate, pierced toe plate, and pierced patchbox finial indicate this rifle was special. The use of mother of pearl, and bone inlays is another plus. Boldly faceted rear ramrod pipe and fore end cap are nice details.
The 43.5 inch rifled .69 cal barrel is the original length and is of signed in script "S Hesf". Curly maple full stock retains much of its original red violin finish seen on rifles of this area. Very minor wood restoration is limited to an area by the lock bolt, and a round patch behind the cheekpiece near the toe plate (possibly where a coin was later inlaid or an imperfection in the wood was repaired). No wood has been replaced along the forestock. This is an amazing and decorative signed rifle in nice condition.
SOLD SOLD Iron and Brass Mounted Unicoi County Tennessee rifle ca 1840
A superb example of an eastern Tennessee rifle with cast and hand wrought brass mounts, poured pewter fore end cap, iron tang that extends over the comb all the way to the butt plate. Sharp architecture without flaw, original length 42.5 inch rifled barrel about .40 cal. with adjustable buckhorn rear sight and original ramrod.
Curly maple full stock with old untouched dark surfaces. Percussion lock original to the rifle. Wood between lock and barrel tang appears to be an old in-period repair
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 block letters "H * S". A very fine and desirable rifle in great condition.
Available at $29,500.00
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 $17,500.00
SOLD SOLD 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.
Photo Credit Mark Elliot
Unsigned Jacob Kuntz, 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 PRICE NEGOTIABLE
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 $6,950.00