Lot 18    

Raised Carved Kentucky Flintlock Rifle by John Shell,
2009, Firearms and Militaria, Nov 4 & 5
.60 caliber smoothbore, 42" octagonal-to-round barrel, buckhorn rear sight and brass front sight. Brass signature escutcheon signed by John Shell. Curly maple stock with raised carving behind tang, on wrist, rear left side of buttstock, around the first thimble, incised lines from the toe to triggerguard, and around the lock mortise and on the reverse, then down both sides of barrel. Brass buttplate, engraved brass patchbox, engraved brass side plate, engraved brass toe plate, brass triggerguard, ferrules and nosecap. Stock inlaid with twenty-two pieces of silver cut-outs and has some silver wire work around the lockplate, triggerguard, comb of stock and cheek piece. Ramrod may or may not be original, but certainly looks period. John Shell worked in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County Pennsylvania, ca 1817.

IMPORTANT NEW DISCOVERY CONCERNING THIS RAISE-CARVED JOHN SHELL KENTUCKY RIFLE

This rifle was originally purchased by Steve Hench at a farm auction in Western Pennsylvania in 1970, and was subsequently sold by Steve to Wes White. When White died, the rifle was consigned to Cowan’s by his son. At the time, his son indicated that the rifle was restored by Carl Pipert, who reconverted the lock from percussion to flint and restored several pieces of missing silver inlay. We assumed that the stock – made of two pieces of closely matched curly maple – had also been repaired by Pipert.

We were recently notified that the stock has NOT been repaired. Photographs of the rifle taken in 1970 shortly after its purchase -- and before Pipert’s work -- clearly reveals this to be an original, as-made stock. Hench (personal communication, October 2009) has verified that the stock was complete when he purchased it.

The stock is constructed of two pieces of curly maple carefully and expertly dove-tailed together approximately 24.5” behind the muzzle of the rifle. Apparently Shell could not acquire a length of maple sufficient to construct the entire stock and settled for dovetailing together two closely matched pieces of wood.

We consider this an important addendum, that adds significantly to the integrity of this exceptional rifle. Accompanying the rifle is a letter from Stephen Hench attesting to the circumstances of the discovery of this rifle and its condition when found.



Provenance:  
Ex Collection of Steve Hench, purchased at auction in PA in 1974
Sold to Wes White


Condition:  
This rifle was restored by the late Carl Pippert many years ago. He restored the lock and some inlays to match those on the original stock. Brass patchbox, triggerguard and toe plate have nice untouched patina. Most of the silver inlays are dark with patina. Entire rifle has a great look, barrel with a deep untouched brown patina. A great classic from the "Golden Age" of rifle making.
Sold: $40,250.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

WWII German Canvas Kepi,
Peabody Military Rifle,
Lot # 155 - Peabody Military Rifle,
.43 caliber, 33" barrel, three land and groove rifling. This is a Connecticut issue rifle. > Item Details
Sharps Conversion Carbine,
Lot # 159 - Sharps Conversion Carbine,
.45-70 caliber, 24" octagonal-to-round barrel, serial number 75781. Barrel has German proofs and a crown with Spandau markings. Folding rear sight with a blade front sight. Five land and groove rifling. Walnut buttstock and forearm. > Item Details
WWII German SA Dagger,
Lot # 469 - WWII German SA Dagger,
8.5" blade marked Alles Fur Deutchland ("Everything for Germany") and RZM m-7/9 on opposite side. > Item Details
Naval Officer's Dress Sword,
Lot # 250 - Naval Officer's Dress Sword,
29.5" blade etched with naval motifs. Shagreen and brass wire wrapped handle. Gold gilt brass knuckle bow and pommel. Leather scabbard with bridle leather belt and naval buckle. > Item Details
Marine Officer's Sword,
Lot # 249 - Marine Officer's Sword,
33" slightly curved blade etched with military motifs. Nickel plated metal scabbard with brass bands and carrying rings. Grips are yellow plastic. > Item Details
Stocking & Co. Cased Percussion Pepperbox,
Lot # 579 - Stocking & Co. Cased Percussion Pepperbox,
.31 caliber, 4" six-shot round barrel with ribs. Recoil shield. Marked on one of the rib Stocking & Company, Worchester, Mass. Walnut grips. Old mahogany case has been relined with a shell flask. Correct style mold. > Item Details
* Japanese Arisaka Type 30 Carbine,
Lot # 391 - * Japanese Arisaka Type 30 Carbine,
6.5 Japanese caliber, 19.5" barrel, serial number 413050. Chrysanthemum ground off, mismatched serial numbers. Made at the Tokyo arsenal. > Item Details
WWII Nazi Kriegsmarine Luger Holster,
Lot # 826 - WWII Nazi Kriegsmarine Luger Holster,
black leather, maker marked Voegels, Koln, 1939, WaA387 and Kriegsmarine stamp. > Item Details
Unpublished Photograph of 1883 Gatling Gun Regiment,
Lot # 189 - Unpublished Photograph of 1883 Gatling Gun Regiment,
8.25" x 10" image of 18 soldiers at camp with their Gatling Gun. > Item Details
German Military Sword,
Lot # 881 - German Military Sword,
31" blade, brass knuckle bow, backstrap and pommel. Leather and wire wrapped handle. Metal scabbard. > Item Details
* WWII Japanese Arisaka Type 99 Long Rifle,
Lot # 416 - * WWII Japanese Arisaka Type 99 Long Rifle,
7.7 Japanese caliber, 32" barrel, serial number 6607. Chrysanthemum ground off, Chinese sling, correct cleaning rod, Hiroshima prefecture, mismatched bolt, and missing aircraft sights. > Item Details
Model 1841 Mississippi Bayonet,
Lot # 135 - Model 1841 Mississippi Bayonet,
marked 1871 on brass handle. 25" fullered blade. > Item Details
* Winchester Model 67 Bolt-Action Rifle,
Remington-Hepburn Target Rifle,
Lot # 623 - Remington-Hepburn Target Rifle,
.40-70 Sharps caliber, 32" heavy octagonal barrel, 1.5" across the flats. Marked on top of barrel Remington Arms Co, Ilion, New York. Serial number 9577. Double-set triggers, blued barrel with case colored frame, checkered pistol grip buttstock, plain forearm. Buttplate is polished bright. > Item Details
WWII Flying Tigers Archive,
Lot # 527 - WWII Flying Tigers Archive,
flag with embroidered Chinese characters that, when translated, reads: This man came to China to aid us to fight this war. He is an American soldier and people altogether, please save and protect him. Also included is a small white silk American flag identified as belonging to Sakura RA Co. LTD, Jo ... > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: