Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 127: 18th Century American Flintlock Smooth-Rifle

Auction Date: September 10, 2021

Documented Carved 18th Century American Flintlock "Smooth-Rifle from Somewhere East of Reading, Pennsylvania"

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $30,000 - $50,000

Documented Carved 18th Century American Flintlock "Smooth-Rifle from Somewhere East of Reading, Pennsylvania"

Manufacturer: American
Model: Flintlock
Type: Musket
Gauge: 48
Barrel: 46 5/8 inch octagon
Finish: brown
Stock: maple
Item Views: 2039
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 105
Class: Antique

This rifle is documented in "A Smooth - Rifle from somewhere East of Reading, Pennsylvania" by George Shumway in the "Longrifles of Note" section of "Muzzle Blasts" magazine from June of 1993 in which he notes the similarities between this rifle and rifle no. 11 in "Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in Its Golden Age" by Kindig. Both are smoothbore guns and are very similar, similar enough to clearly be by the same maker per Shumway. The rifle comes from the Lehigh Valley east of Reading, Pennsylvania, and is dated to the 1760s-1770s by Shumway. It has a tapered octagon barrel with smoothbore, traditional blade and notch rifle-style sights, and no signature. The lock is also unmarked and has a stepped tail and beveled edges. The furniture is all brass. It has a plain single trigger. The wooden patch box lid appears to be original and has some light incised carving and three small grasping slots. The lightly figures stock has nice molding along the ramrod channel, attractive carving at the ramrod entry pipe and upper tang, shaped tear drop flats, scroll carving at the front of the comb, a nice cheek rest, and attractive raised relief and incised carving on the left side of the butt.

Rating Definition:

Very good as reconverted to flintlock configuration with dark brown patina, light oxidation, and some mild pitting on the barrel and lock along with some tool marks on the former; deep aged patina on the brass, pieces of the toe of the buttplate absent, and a mix of dark aged patina and lighter hand-worn areas on the stock which has some cracks and repairs mainly in the spliced forend, gaps around the lock, flash wear and loss at the breech, worn carving on the forend and wrist, and crisper carving on the butt. The lock is functional.

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