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

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
* Savage Model 342 Bolt-Action Rifle,
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
Manhattan Firearms First Model, Fourth Variation Pocket Revolver,
Lot # 582 - Manhattan Firearms First Model, Fourth Variation Pocket Revolver,
.22 short caliber, 3.125" barrel, serial number 8044. Seven-shot revolver. > Item Details
* Italian Rizzini Aurum Over and Under Shotgun,
Lot # 779 - * Italian Rizzini Aurum Over and Under Shotgun,
28 gauge, 28" barrels with screw-in chokes, serial number 49516. > Item Details
Three Relic Swords and Three Relic Bayonets,
WWI Austrian-Hungarian Pilot's Badge with Original Box, Plus Mini Pin,
Lot # 279 - WWI Austrian-Hungarian Pilot's Badge with Original Box, Plus Mini Pin,
verso of larger badge marked J. Zinneler, Wienn VII on back of the eagle's wing. Complete with original box marked Offohar Hunaer G. Ellauce Reffe Wien I Bedunercstease4. > Item Details
George Armstrong Custer and General  George Meade Autograph Archive,
Lot # 140 - George Armstrong Custer and General George Meade Autograph Archive,
16" x 19" gilded frame with reproduction CDV of General Custer and small honorary plaque. Inscription on obverse reads, Headquarters 2nd Brigade October 27, 1863 Respectfully Forever, G.A. Custer. Brigadier Commanding 2nd Brig. Verso with inscription For file in his office George A. Meade, Major Gen... > Item Details
Hall U.S. Breech-Loading Contract  Model 1819 Percussion Rifle by S. North,
Lot # 48 - Hall U.S. Breech-Loading Contract Model 1819 Percussion Rifle by S. North,
.52 caliber, 33" barrel, three barrel bands, walnut stock, converted to percussion using the flint hammer and a cone. Top of breech block marked U.S. S. North Berlin, Conn. > Item Details
Winchester Lee Navy Rifle,
Lot # 206 - Winchester Lee Navy Rifle,
6.5mm Lee caliber, 28" barrel, serial number 11264. > Item Details
WWII German Archive Including Banner and Photographs,
Lot # 480 - WWII German Archive Including Banner and Photographs,
book in German, Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf. Cigaretten-Bilderbienlt Altona Bahrenfed, 1936, 134 pp with applied photographs. PLUS, small 63pp+ German book: Hannover, Adolf Sponholtz Verlag. Der Soldatenfreund 1944 August 1943 with introduction by Heinrich Himmler. PLUS, wool hat with interior marked ... > Item Details
* Greek Model 1903/14 Military Mauser Rifle,
Lot # 227 - * Greek Model 1903/14 Military Mauser Rifle,
6.5x53 caliber, 29" barrel, serial number H5257. Mismatched serial numbers. > Item Details
Identified Tiffany U.S. Non-Regulation Staff and Field Officer's Sword,
Lot # 123 - Identified Tiffany U.S. Non-Regulation Staff and Field Officer's Sword,
31" blade, with etched panels U.S. on one side and E. Pluribus Unum on the reverse. Blade further marked Tiffany and Company New York. Brass knuckle bow and pommel. Shagreen and brass wire wrapped handle. The sword belonged to 1st Lieutenant William L. Harris, Company A., 7th Vermont. From Burlingt... > Item Details
* WWII Japanese Arisaka Type 99
Lot # 417 - * WWII Japanese Arisaka Type 99 "Last Ditch" Rifle
7.7 Japanese caliber, 26" barrel, serial number 71673. Chrysanthemum is intact. Matching serial numbers. > Item Details
Indian Maiden Pommel Officer's Sword with Mother of Pearl Grips,
Lot # 44 - Indian Maiden Pommel Officer's Sword with Mother of Pearl Grips,
29.5" blade with etched panels of blue and gold gilding. Pearl and brass wire handles, brass guard and Indian maiden pommel. Brass scabbard with chased designs. (See Furr, 1999: 45) > Item Details
* Ruger Mini-Mag M-14  Rifle with <i>Simmons</i> Scope,
Lot # 692 - * Ruger Mini-Mag M-14 Rifle with Simmons Scope,
.223 caliber, 17.5 " barrel, serial number 182-77184. Walnut stock. > Item Details
L.C. Smith Shotgun,
Lot # 684 - L.C. Smith Shotgun,
16 gauge, 26" barrels, serial number 7680. LOB 14.5, chokes are Modified and Improved Modified. Walnut checkered pistol grip buttstock and forearm. Hard rubber pistol grip cap and buttplate. > Item Details
Lot # 103 - "Bloody Kansas" Era Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Saber and Tintype,
36" blade, no maker's markings, likely an early German-made import. Typical leather and brass wire wrapped handle. Brass knuckle bow and pommel. Metal scabbard. The saber directly descends from the family with documentation indicating that the sword was owned by pro-slavery Kansas Territorial Adjut... > Item Details
* Smith & Wesson Model 59 Pistol,
Lot # 698 - * Smith & Wesson Model 59 Pistol,
.9mm caliber, 4" barrel, serial number A338031. Blued finish with checkered black grips. Two magazines. > Item Details
Powder Horn, Relief Carved with Indian Attack and Miles Standish,
Lot # 25 - Powder Horn, Relief Carved with Indian Attack and Miles Standish,
duck's head pour spout, threaded screw-in filler plug. Indians Attack and Burn Deerfield Sep. 1675 and Landing of Miles Standish in 1623 at Weymouth carved into the horn. Complete with scenes depicting each event. 19" overall length. Excellent craftsmanship. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: