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

* Ishapore Arsenal Enfield Military Rifle,
Lot # 385 - * Ishapore Arsenal Enfield Military Rifle,
.308 caliber, 25" barrel, serial number Z4876. Import marked and dated 1968. > Item Details
* Winchester Model 1917 Rifle,
Lot # 215 - * Winchester Model 1917 Rifle,
.30-06 caliber, 24" barrel, serial number 65203. Kerr "Nobuckl" sling, Remington barrel. > Item Details
* Colt National Match .45 with Swartz Safety,
Lot # 667 - * Colt National Match .45 with Swartz Safety,
.45 caliber, 5" barrel, serial number C188749. Blue finish with checkered walnut grips. Factory letter indicates a Swartz safety and firearm being shipped to George Worthington Hardware Co, Cleveland, Ohio July 14, 1938. Left side of slide with National Match Markings, Colt Automatic Caliber .45. ... > Item Details
Little Big Horn Battlefield Buttons for Soldier's Blouse or Kepi,
Lot # 193 - Little Big Horn Battlefield Buttons for Soldier's Blouse or Kepi,
.75" and .5" eagle buttons collected by the Northern Cheyenne after the battle. Complete with signed affidavits. > Item Details
German Artillery Sword,
Lot # 882 - German Artillery Sword,
33" etched blade with military motifs, shagreen and wire wrapped handle. Metal scabbard. > Item Details
French Lebel Mle. 1888/93R35 Carbine,
Lot # 757 - French Lebel Mle. 1888/93R35 Carbine,
8mm Lebel caliber, 18.5" barrel, serial number 9034. No stacking lug, band cut stock. > Item Details
Japanese Matchlock Rifle,
Lot # 739 - Japanese Matchlock Rifle,
.490 bore diameter, 40" octagonal barrel. Wood stock with brass inlays and brass furniture. Top of barrel inlaid with turtle, bird and rosette. > Item Details
WWI French Aviator's Blouses and One Pair of Trousers,
Lot # 320 - WWI French Aviator's Blouses and One Pair of Trousers,
first jacket with ordnance buttons and collar insignia marked 128. Second uniform with ordnance buttons and gold bullion sewn collar aviation insignia. > Item Details
WWI Enlisted Man's 34th Aero Squadron Coat and Trousers with Helmet,
Lot # 308 - WWI Enlisted Man's 34th Aero Squadron Coat and Trousers with Helmet,
wool uniform with signal corps collar disks. This uniform was from Cpl L.C. Stonesifer and is so marked on the interior of the helmet. > Item Details
* Mauser Model 1910 Pistol with Holster Attributed to Karl Frank, SS General,
Lot # 441 - * Mauser Model 1910 Pistol with Holster Attributed to Karl Frank, SS General,
.25 caliber, 3" barrel, serial number 89833. Blue finish, one piece Bakelite grip inscribed Karl Frank, Sch-E-A-I-Komp- Munchen. Includes original holster which has an illegible inscription presenting the pistol to Frank(?). > Item Details
Full-Stock Percussion Rifle by <i>J.G. Stutsman,</i>
Lot # 560 - Full-Stock Percussion Rifle by J.G. Stutsman,
ca 1850-1854. .40 caliber, 34" octagonal barrel, barrel has two dovetails, one is empty by the tang. Forward-action lockplate marked J.G. Stutsman, Dayton, Ohio. Maple stock with brass furniture. Double-set triggers. (See Sellers, 1983: 198.) > Item Details
WWII Bataan Medal Aviation Disc Insignias and More,
Pair of French Dueling Pistols by <i>Bastidue A' Toulouse,</i>
Lot # 759 - Pair of French Dueling Pistols by Bastidue A' Toulouse,
.54 caliber rifled, 7.75" octagonal barrel, fruit wood stocks. Engraved locks and hammers. Locks marked Bastidue A' Toulouse. > Item Details
* Remington Sportsman Model 58 Semi-Automatic Shotgun,
* Mauser Broomhandle Pistol,
Lot # 241 - * Mauser Broomhandle Pistol,
.30 caliber, 5" barrel, serial number 940765. > Item Details
* Czechoslovakian VZ33 Rifle,
Lot # 358 - * Czechoslovakian VZ33 Rifle,
8mm caliber, 20" barrel, serial number 5598A. Mismatched serial numbers. Very rare Czech rifle became Nazi Mountain carbine after occupation, but VZ33 much more rare than mountain carbine. > Item Details
Springfield Model 1879 Rifle,
Lot # 165 - Springfield Model 1879 Rifle,
.45-70 caliber, 32.5" round barrel with large V.P. and eagle barrel proofs, serial number 172305*. Breechblock marked 1884. Buffington rear sight. Walnut buttstock with no cartouche, but still retains a faint circle "P" firing proof. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: