Billy Griner now has a web site to show case his work. The above horn is 2 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches in the butt and 5 inches along the inside curve. The engraving is Satilla River.
This Georgia Horn is 12 inches overall with a 2 inch butt. Carved tip. Beehive plug held in place with 23 small flat headed nails. Turned rings are heat applied and pinned in place. Nut wood butt. Near copy of The Allen Horn.
This Blanket/Canoe Gun was built back in 2001. The rust blued 20 gauge barrel is 18 1/2" long. The stock is black walnut with a hand forged steel trigger guard, accompanied by brass mounts on the remainder of the gun. The braided hemp rope going through the buttstock is a shoulder sling used to carry the gun over the shoulder and under a blanket or capote.
Nicholas-Noël Boutet, French, Versailles, 1761–1833, Directeur-Artiste of the Manufacture d'Armes de Versailles, French, Versailles, 1761–1833
Steel, engraved, blued, and damascened with gold; walnut, carved and inlaid with engraved silver; silver, cast and chiseled; horn; mahogany; velvet
L. overall 43 1/2 in. (110.49 cm) Wt. 6 lb. 7 oz. (2920 gm) Caliber .64
The Revolution of 1789 and the subsequent rise of Napoleon, first as consul (1799–1804) and then as emperor (1804–14), brought about a dramatic change in the design and decoration of French firearms. The principal innovator was Nicholas-Noël Boutet (1761–1833), who was named directeur-artiste of the newly formed Versailles Arms Manufactory in 1792. While the Versailles factory was the principal producer of regulation weapons for the French armies, Boutet was also charged with creating richly decorated arms for presentation to military heroes and foreign heads of state.
Firearms of this period, like the rifle illustrated, show an unequaled technical perfection and precision of workmanship. The delicate Rococo style associated with the ancien régime was abandoned and replaced by the more masculine classicism of the Empire style with its references to Greco-Roman and Egyptian motifs. Gunstocks were inlaid with engraved sheet silver and gold, and the mounts were often of heavy silver cast in bold relief. The decoration included trophies of arms and scenes of classical battles and victories that implied France's military glory.
Samuel Brunn, England, London, recorded 1795-1820
Steel, walnut, silver, gold
Length overall 16 in. ( 40.64 cm) Length barrel 10 1/8 in. ( 25.7 cm) Caliber .603
These pistols are the finest known examples of English neoclassical-style firearms. Each stock is inlaid with engraved sheet silver and embellished with heavy cast-silver mounts. This decoration was inspired by contemporary French Empire firearms, such as those by Boutet also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. nos. 36.58a–c, 42.50.7a–n, and 1970.179.1). Several of the motifs are based on ancient Roman sources. On the sideplate, for example, the Nereid riding a sea-leopard derives from an engraving of 1762 depicting a wall painting in the recently found ruins of Herculaneum. On the trigger guard, the oval medallion representing Hercules with a defeated Amazon is copied from a well-known antique gem. The Medusa head on the butt also derives from classical art, but here the idealized model has been transformed into a grimacing but almost humorous caricature of the legendary gorgon.
Steel, chiseled, blued, and gilt; wood, inlaid with silver, brass, engraved mother-of-pearl; gilt brass, bone
L. overall 55 5/16 in. (140.49 cm) Wt. 5 lb. 11 oz. (2580 gm) Caliber .59 (55mm)
This fowling piece is one of the earliest firearms equipped with the flintlock of French construction. It was made for Louis XIII (r. 1610–43) in the workshop directed by Pierre Le Bourgeois's brother, Marin (about 1550–1634), to whom the invention of the flintlock mechanism is traditionally ascribed. The decoration of the gun includes the crowned monogram of the king.
Jacob Kuntz, American, Pennsylvania, 1780–1876
Engraved steel and brass; maple inlaid with engraved brass, silver, bone, horn
L. (overall) 59 1/4 in. (150.5 cm) L. (barrel) 43 in. (109.22 cm) Wt. 9 lb. 13 oz. ( 4451 gm) Caliber .46
This rifle is an early example of Kuntz's work, perhaps made about 1810, when he moved from Northampton County, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia. The restrained carving of the stocks and the confident treatment of the engraved brass inlays demonstrate his early mastery of the techniques that distinguish him as one of Philadelphia's finest gunmakers.
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