Stunning Engraved German Silver Embellished Contemporary Flintlock Long Rifle by Lester Smith

.36 caliber. 43.5" pinned octagonal barrel. SN: NSN. Browned finish, engraved German silver mountings, full-length curly maple stock. Contemporary recreation of a highly decorated early 19th century flintlock long rifle. Flat stepped lock with small teat at rear is engraved with loose foliate scrolls, and is equipped with a rounded, fenced and bridled pan and a flat faceted swan neck cock. Barrel engraved at breech and muzzle with simple loose foliate designs and had a silver plate inlaid on the top flat signed in script Lester Smith. Equipped with double set triggers, dovetailed notch rear sight and dovetailed German silver reversed Rocky Mountain front sight blade. The rifle is highly embellished with profusely engraved German silver mountings including a stunning open-work four-piece daisy-head patch box, toe plate, open work Celtic rope motif plate connecting the toe plate to the triggerguard tang, triggerguard and an open work Celtic rope-motif saddle plate connecting the triggerguard to the entry pipe. Barrel pins are concealed by engraved decorative plates, and the rammer pipes are engraved, as is the nose cap. The single screw side plate is engraved and the raised cheek rest is inlaid with a large engraved star burst motif and two engraved tear drop decorations. Two small engraved tear drop decorations are present at the wrist with a round thumb plate that is boarder engraved but remains blank in its center. Stock is further embellished with simple raised carved Rococo foliate scrolls on the reverse behind the cheek rest and with simple carved aprons around the rears of the lock and counterpane. Decorative incised foliate decorations are present around the tang and the forward sections of the lock mortise and counterpane. The forend is carved en-suite at the entry pipe and forend tip, with incised lines along the length of the forend. Overall a simply stunning recreation of a very high grade early 19th century flintlock rifle by noted master builder Lester Smith (1920-1970) of the "Johnson City School" of gunmakers. Smith was noted to be the favorite apprentice of master gunmaker Hacker Martin. Smith further had the reputation of being one of the best decorative inlay craftsmen to have ever lived, as well being a master engraver. This stunning rifle has no major detractions except for a cracked wrist that should be repaired by a talented craftsman.


Fine. Retains much of the thinning brown on the barrel with some wear and loss. Mechanically functional, fine bore. Engraving and carving crisp and clear. Patchbox latch needs adjustment as lid will not reliably stay closed. Stock crisp with a crack through the wrist likely from an unfortunate drop, which should be repaired by a master gun maker. Otherwise with minor light handling marks.

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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In advance of our move, we are requiring that all purchased property be removed from our current Este Avenue location within two weeks of the completion of each auction. For this auction, all property must be removed by May 11.

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