About .48 caliber. 44.5" octagonal barrel length. NSN. Classic and superior example flintlock long rifle with furnishings and molding characteristics unique to the Lehigh/Northampton School. Item is attributed to a gunmaker by the name of Christian Clous (surname possibly spelled different) according to information found inside the patchbox referencing item's inclusion in a 1966 bulletin by the Kentucky Rifle Association.
Item has a browned metal finish, and a beautiful curly maple stock with a double radius grip, raised comb to curved buttstock, and roman curve. Item features a two-piece patchbox with regional arrowhead accents, sheath buttplate, and arrowhead toe plate consistent with the Lehigh/Northampton School. Patchbox has traditional shallow scroll engravings to both lid and head, and is opened with a small tensioned stud in the buttplate. Interior of patchbox has contemporary inscription "CHRISTIAN/KLOUSE" written in pencil to bottom. Sideplate has two flanges behind forward screw which is another characteristic of the School. Stock has eye shaped German silver furnishings with daisy engravings to top of wrist and to cheek piece on left side of buttstock. There are also two brass tear-drop shaped furnishings fixed to left and right sides of wrist. Bottom edge of buttstock is flat with a larger brass tear-drop furnishing. Also to bottom edge is a date that appears to read "1794", inlaid with brass studs or nails that are filed flush with stock. Stock shows intricate floral and scroll tendrils carved around upper tang and to both sides of butt, along with two incised border lines running the length of both sides of forearm. Bottom of stock has incised carving of an Indian head in front of triggerguard.
This item has a lock and barrel that are both unsigned, which is apparently another characteristic of gunmakers of the period and area. Lockplate has a diamond (also referred to as arrowhead) motif to rear of lockplate which is another characteristic of the Lehigh/Northampton School. Item features fixed notch and brass blade sights, as well as an octagonal shaped frizzen pan, and touch hole that has some corrosion. Lock was pulled and there is a small brass shim behind lockplate that indicates it may have gotten a very well done reconversion at some point. There is also a small amount of excess resin or glue residue to interior of stock above triggerguard, possibly from a small exterior area forward of lock and triggerguard that appears to have a small repair. Item is with flint and includes a wood ramrod. Also included in patchbox are two metal hangers from the Kentucky Rifle Association that were awarded in 1966 for "One of Best 10" award, and in 2000 for "Best Dated".
Research found obscure evidence of a Christian Clous gunmaker during the "Golden Age" to late flintlock eras of long rifles. According to long rifle expert, Dr. J. Wayne Heckert, there was reportedly a Christian Clous gunmaker active in Northampton County, Pennsylvania area around 1800. As noted above, this item was said to be pictured in the Kentucky Rifle Association's 1966 bulletin as "#99", but that issue of the publication is unavailable and has since gone out of print.
Good. Bore is dark and there appears to be only a faint amount of rifling visible under oxidation toward muzzle. Finish has heavy pitting and a deep mottled plum-brown patina overall. Stock appears to have some small cracking forward of triggerguard that was repaired at some point. There are some light losses to wood on bottom of stock along ramrod slot, as well as around bottom of lockplate. Toe of buttstock has 1" cracks to both sides. Furnishings and brass parts show light wear with some scratching, faint dents, and darkening to corner areas. Wood to metal fit appears good overall. Action is functional.
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