Unsigned Leonard Reedy, Womelsdorf, Berks County, Pennsylvania, ca 1800
This rifle represents Leonard Reedy's early work while in the shop of his master John Bonewitz in Womelsdorf, Berks County. Reedy used many artistic details, castings, and charcteristics of his master but was allowed to develope his own designs as well. He remained with Bonewitz moving to Pine Grove in 1809. Only 3 known rifles by him are signed. He later established himself in Gratz.
Characteristics that place this rifle as an early example are the Roman nose architecture, the carving is less developed than on examples of a slightly later period, and the slightly thicker butt stock. Also, the rifled bore is large, about .50 cal. and the barrel has a slight flare at the muzzle.
The rifle remains in wonderful old condition with an unalterted flintlock original to the rifle. Only minor restoration to the wood near the fore end cap noting that the original wood of the forestock extends into the fore end cap. The original length barrel is 43 inches with a rifled bore of .50 cal.
Forestock molding in the Bonewitz/Reedy style is present but is worn in the area of the rear ramrod pipe. Excellent curly maple with consistant tight curl was used and enhances the beauty and value of the rifle. Old patina on the brass mounts enhances the warmth and character of this example creating a desirable appearance.
Few Pennsylvania-Kentucky rifles are more desirable than those attributed to Reedy, Bonewitz, and Figthorne thanks to the long years of research and study by Henry Bishop. Kindig spoke highly of this Womelsdorf school thus stimulating interest. This is an opportunity to own an artistic and original example of this higly respected gunsmith.
The price reflects the condition, quality, and desirablility of this rifle.