Highly Adorned Lehigh Valley Flintlock Rifle Attributed to Adam Knutz

.42 caliber. 41" wedge-retained octagonal barrel. SN: NSN. Browned finish, brass mountings, maple stock. Reconverted commercial flint lock is marked "CLEWELL" under the pan, the barrel is unmarked. Rifle is adorned with a lovely, engraved four-piece Fleur-de-lis finial patchbox with the release located in the toe plate and made of horn. Other brass furniture includes the toe plate, flat, un-engraved side plate, triggergaurd with finger spur, wedges, faceted ramrod pipes and the nose cap. The rifle is further decorated with a wide assortment of brass, bone and German silver inlays and adornments. The bone inlays include a diamond along the toe line, a tulip and an elongated teardrop along the comb and four small inserts along the upper edge of the cheek rest. All of these are further decorated. The brass decorations include a pair of crescent moons at the wrist, lightly engraved feathery motifs in front of, below and behind the cheek rest, as well as a pair of winged Cherubs located on either side of the forend between the front of the lock mortise and the first wedge. Finally an oval German silver thumb piece is lightly engraved with decorations and the initials PM on the upper wrist of the rifle. The stock has a pronounced "Roman nose" profile, with a raised cheek rest and simple parallel incised lines running along the toe line of the rifle from the but tot eh wrist and from the entry pipe to the forend cap. Sights include a dovetailed notch rear and a dovetailed brass blade front. Adam Knutz (1814-?) was one of five children of famed Pennsylvania gunmaker Jacob Knutz (1780-1876). This rifle was sold by James D. Julia's in March of 2013.

Provenance:The Collection of Larry Ness


Very good to fine as refinished and reconverted. Metal with a moderately oxidized bluish-brown appearance with some surface roughness and some pitting. Lock needs mechanical attention and will not hold at half or full cock. Bore is moderately oxidized and smooth, without rifling. It is not clear if it was bored smooth at some point or if the gun was manufactured with a smooth bore. The bore shows moderate pitting and is quite dirty. Stock shows some wear, thinning to the incised lines, and has been refinished. The wood shows scattered bumps, dings and mars, some gapping around the lock and a repaired crack on the obverse forend between the middle and entry pipes, and some chipped loss between the toe plate and buttplate at the toe. Wood ramrod is a replacement. 

Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000

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