Manufactured in the spa town of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Bohemia, west of Prague around 1700-1750 by Johann Paul Breidenfelter. The Breidenfelter/Breidenfelder family of gunmakers were active from the late 17th century through the mid 18th century and produced an array of fine arms. This ornate rifle is certainly in keeping with other highly decorate "de luxe" arms from Carlsbad in the early 18th century that we have seen, including the extensive use of a variety of relief hunting scenes and gilded brass furniture. Note in particular Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, on the buttplate tang accompanied by dogs. She was a particularly popular figure in ornate hunting arms in Continental Europe following the Renaissance. The swamped barrel has eight-groove rifling, gilded blade front and notch and folding leaf rear sights, "Johann Paul BreidenFelter" (lower case letters in caps but smaller on the barrel) on top in the breech section ahead of a golden stag hallmark, and a scroll engraved tang. The lock and furniture are all gilt brass and have a wide variety of hunting related scenes appropriate to a hunting rifle as well as scrollwork and floral accents. It has adjustable double set triggers and light engraving on the trigger plate. The full-length stock has incised and raised relief scrollwork, molding, and a cheek rest.
Fine overall with dark mottle brown patina and some minor oxidation along the barrel, bright tang and lock components, aged patinas on the furniture, some traces of gilding remaining, distinct designs and carving, break through the stock flats (firm with lock fitted), several repaired cracks, some insect holes and track lines, and general moderate wear. The patch box is a professionally made replacement. Mechanically excellent. A very attractive and ornate Bohemian flintlock rifle certainly fit for an aristocratic huntsman.
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