Untouched Pennsylvania Flintlock Longrifle by Peter Belles - ex Kindig Collection

.42 caliber. 44.75" wedge retained, slightly swamped octagonal barrel. SN: NSN. Browned finish, brass furniture, maple stock. Imported commercial flint lock is lightly engraved at the tail and marked "WARRANTED" weakly at the bottom center and has a rounded and fenced iron waterproof pan with a roller frizzen and a flat faceted swan neck cock. The lock could not be removed for internal inspection due to frozen screws and the breech could not be inspected by endoscope due to a blockage roughly 4" from the breech, suggesting the rifle may still be loaded. The set trigger is missing from the lock action and the hammer is frozen as well and will not cock. The top flat of the barrel is signed "P + Belles" in script, although the marking is weak. The gun is mounted with a lightly engraved brass four-piece stylized horse head patch box with six piercings, a brass cresent buttplate with faceted tang, a lightly engraved 3.5" brass toe plate, a plain flat brass side plate, a brass triggerguard with skeletonized finger extension, faceted brass ramrod thimbles and entry pipe and a brass nose cap. The stock has a raised cheek rest with simple incised line carving along the toe line through the wrist with more decorative incised line scrolls at the entry pipe, with another simple line proceeding forward along the forend to the nose cap along the line of the wedged and stock pins. The stock is further decorated with eight German silver inlays in the forend, four on the reverse serving as wedge escutcheons and four on the obverse concealing the wedges themselves. Four more German silver inlays are present as well, including an engraved eight-pointed star on the cheek rest, an engraved crescent moon to the rear of the cheek rest, an engraved oval thumb piece on the top of the wrist and a boarder line engraved stylized hear behind the tang. Sights include a simple dovetailed rear notch and a dovetailed brass Rocky Mountain style front blade. Two old collection numbers are in the patchbox cut out, one a tin rimmed paper disc numbered 33 and an old rectangular sticker numbered 207. This rifle was part of the Joe Kindig Jr. collection and mentioned, but not pictured in his classic work Thoughts on Kentucky Rifles in its Golden Age. In that book Kindig pictures his Belles' rifle #89 and mentions this one. This gun is pictured and published in Roy F Chandler's Kentucky Rifle Patchboxes and Barrel Marks, where its ownership is attributed to Kindig. Peter Belles worked in Lykens Township, Dauphin County PA during the second quarter of the 19th century. A really lovely late flintlock era Pennsylvania Rifle with gorgeous patchbox in lovely, unmolested condition.

Provenance:ex-Joe Kindig Jr, The Collection of Larry Ness


Attic fine, with the metal having a mostly untouched, heavily oxidized patina with the exception of the top flat in the signature area, where the barrel was cleaned years ago in an attempt to make the weak signature more legible. Lock is possibly reconverted to flint but the plate fit is perfect and the lock itself is almost certainly not a replacement. Lock does not function, as noted above, and the set trigger is missing. Bore is rusted, with strong rifling and heavy pitting. Stock with an attractive, uncleaned look showing a crack through the second wedge from the entry pipe and several more small longitudinal grain cracks in the forend closer to the nose cap.

Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000

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