Unsigned Frederick Sell, Littlestown, Adams County, Pennsylvania ca 1815
Frederick Sell, a member of one of the greatest riflemaking families in Pennsylvania, probably learned his trade from his father Jacob Sell. He moved to York and worked as a journeyman for the first years. He was listed as at freeman gunsmith there in 1807 then returned to Littlestown.
He worked over a long period of time, was quite productive, and higly revered by collectors today. The example here shows his usual stock architecture, and carving design. Because there are several signed rifles to study his hand is easily recognized.
This is a short barrel (33inches) smoothbore gun that could have had many uses; possibly a Conestoga wagon masters gun. We will never know what the original owner had in mind when he ordered it from Frederick Sell. Apparently a patchbox was unnecessary. It remains in untouched condition other than conversion to percussion. The curly maple is pleasing especially with its orginal finish.