Signed on the barrel "E. Lanning for T. J. Cooper". I understand Mr. Cooper is dead now. Earl told me that he made the rifle probably around 1969. It is a close copy of a Lenoard Reedy rifle. It has a very early Ditchburn flintlock and a 42.25 inch long Bill Large barrel. It is .50 caliber and does not appear to ever have been fired.
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers