Rock Island Auction Company
Back to Catalog
Auction Date: September 11, 2015

Lot 1140: Armstrong - Kenucky

Sold for Armstrong - Kenucky
Full Screen
Sold For:
Extremely Rare John Armstrong Golden Age Flintlock Long Rifle with Raised Relief Carved Stock
Estimated Price: $30,000 - $50,000
Item Views 219 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Armstrong - Kenucky ManufacturerArmstrong ModelKenucky
TypeRifle Gauge45 Catalog Page72
Barrel44 Inch Octagon FinishBrown Grip
Stockmaple ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionJohn Armstrong of Emmittsburg, Maryland, and Bedford County, Pennsylvania, worked as a gunsmith starting in 1808 and was active until 1822 or as late as 1841. His rifles are noted for their high quality and pierced brass patch boxes. Armstrong is known to have used many of his design aspects consistently which allowed him to produce more rifles than many of his contemporaries, while still maintaining quality. On page 447 of long rifle expert Joe Kindig, Jr.'s "Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in Its Golden Age" it states: "John Armstrong's workmanship is magnificent, and his designs are just about perfection. I cannot overemphasize the beauty of his rifles." This example has designs similar to those pictured in the above work along with the rifle pictured in "The Kentucky Rifle" by Merrill Lindsay. The rifle has a large brass forend cap, standard blade, and notch sights commonly seen on long rifles (rear sight set forward further than average), with "J. Armstrong" in script on the barrel and the lock plate, and a full length curly maple stock with silver thumb plate and eagle engraved cheekpiece inlay, and brass remaining furniture, including the long forend cap regularly seen on Armstrong's rifles, ornate patch box with spring door and engraved designs, and a long one-piece combination trigger guard and ramrod entry pipe. The wooden ramrod has a brass tip. The stock also has raised relief carving including wavy lines ahead of the flats and rococo scrollwork on the left side behind and below the cheekpiece. Armstrong long rifles are among the most desirable of all early American rifles. His work is among the best and helped lay the foundation for the Bedford County School which is known for balanced and exquisitely carved stocks along with beautiful engraved inlays.

ConditionVery good as reconverted to flintlock configuration. The barrel has a dark brown/black lacquered finish mixed with a dark brown patina. The lock has a brown patina. The brass and silver have an attractive aged patina. There are scattered dings and marks throughout. The stock is also very good with some small repairs, mostly glossy surfaces aside from some worn sections near the breech, various light scratches and small dings, and partially smoothed relief carving from years of use. The lock functions fine, and the markings are legible.
Click here to see keyboard shortcuts.
F Enters/exits full screen view for items
Esc Exits full screen view for items
Moves to previous lot, or moves to previous image if full screen view is enabled
Moves to next lot, or moves to next image if full screen view is enabled
Fully zooms the image when full screen view is enabled
Fits the entire image to the screen when full screen view is enabled


Buyer’s Premium: 17.5%

Cash Payment Discount: 2.5%

Participation Requirements: Valid Credit Card required for bidding approval. You will have the option to pay with these payment options: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Check, Money Order, Wire Transfer, and Cash.

Sales Tax: It varies each auction typically around 94% of auction items are not subject to sales tax. Read more here on sales tax.

We will contact you after the auction to arrange payment and shipping.


Premiere Auction Terms

Terms and conditions regarding Premiere Auctions. Revised : 08/29/2014


SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.