Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 CLA Live Auction


The Contemporary Longrifle Association will hold its 2014 CLA Fundraising live auction on Friday night, August 15, at 5:00 PM in Lexington Kentucky.Grand Ball Room, Lexington Convention Center, 400 West Vine Street, Lexington, KY.  Note the auction time has changed and it will be on Friday night this year.  Those who cannot attend Friday can take advantage of the absentee bidding process established last year.

The Contemporary Longrifle Foundation organizes and conducts the live auction.  The CLF is a part of the CLA.  The Foundation is dedicated to providing funds to support the mission of the CLA.  Postings with additional details on each auction item and the donors can be found on the CL Foundation section of the CLA website.  For the past three years, the auction theme has been related to the bicentennial anniversary of the War of 1812.   Last year's auction theme focused on the Battle of New Orleans and, thanks to all of you, it was very successful. This year will be the final Auction themed on the War of 1812 and will be broadly based on the American culture as the war of 1812 ended.  This includes the Westward movement, the conflict with and among the Native American tribes involved in the war; Southern influences on the longrifle and the longrifle culture; and, the transition of the frontier from the Trans-Appalachian across the Mississippi to the plains and mountains of the far west.

We have three southern-themed firearms currently being built for the auction by noted CLA artists, Mike Miller, Roger Sells, and Marc Tornichio.  Each of these are inspired by rifles and pistols related to Southern frontier gunsmiths of the War of 1812 era.  We have two knives, a folder by Scott Summerville and a belt knife by Jerry Eitner plus knives by Joe Seabolt, Rich McDonald and others that are part of hunting bag sets. This years auction will feature an extraordinary selection of hunting bags and accoutrements; a double bag, a bag and horn, and 4 complete hunting bag sets. The bags and sets are late 18th to early 19th century style and are variously southern, Illinois country, and western river; Ohio, Cumberland, Missouri and Mississippi, influenced.  All would look right at home from the upper Cumberland to the upper Missouri.

Mike Miller is copying an iconic southern flintlock pistol  - the Elisha Bull “death or victory” pistol – possibly Elisha’s personal pistol that he made and used in the southern conflicts associated with the War.  Guy Montfort said about the original pistol “If someone totally unfamiliar with these guns asked you something as simple as - "what were southern guns like?" and you could only show them one example, you could point to this Elisha Bull piece and feel comfortable that they were getting a good lesson in all the important stuff.Simple - well, subtle is a better word I guess - the more you look at it the more you realize is there - elegant yet still sort of humble; proud, determined, fiercely independent with that "don't cross me" attitude proudly engraved on it. Conjures up ghosts of folks like John Sevier, Andy Jackson, and Davy Crockett.”  This is almost a bench copy of the original pictured here.  Mike was able to handle, measure and photograph the original.  The pistol exhibits Mike’s impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. There is more on Mike in the April 2014 issue of Muzzle Loader magazine

Roger Sells is constructing an Elisha Bull inspired rifle.   Not an exact copy of any one Elijah Bull rifle it incorporates many of the signature features of Elijah’s work.  I think this is an appropriate approach because Elisha Bull was always developing and refining the the western Appalachian style.  This rifle features iron furniture, a long barrel and an extended tang in the best Bull style.  Roger Sells is noted for his finely styled and crafted iron mounted rifles with those extra touches of the best southern mountain smiths.  An accomplished builder, his work often appears on the Contemporary Makers Blog http://contemporarymakers.blogspot.com

Marc Tornichio is building a contemporary interpretation of an early iron mounted rifle circa 1800 to1810.  A style of rifle that would have been on the southern mountain frontier, fought in the war of 1812, and headed on west. It is not a copy, but it is based on several rifles.  Marc says it is influenced a lot by the Wallace Gusler 2003 article on the “GB” rifle iron mounted rifle with stepped toe architecture. It also draws inspiration from several other original southern rifles with iron mounts. Marc is using a barrel that Ed Rayl copied directly from a very early southwest Virginia iron-mounted rifle. The length is over 46" and it is 48 cal. The lock is a Jim Chambers late Ketland which was donated by Jim. Harrison gunstocks donated a piece of curly stump maple for the rifle. Marc is forging the butt plate, trigger guard and double set triggers. He will be making all the other parts from scratch also, except for the screws. There will probably be carving along with a patch box. Although not a copy, it is strongly based on surviving original rifles from the southwest Virginia area.

The two rifles and pistol are a good sampling of early 19th century guns with strong southern features.  They showcase the style of rifles moving with the Southern Appalachian frontier, showing up at the war of 1812 battles in the west, and moving on to the Rocky Mountains. Note by 1814 Lewis and Clark had been there and done that and folks like Manuel Lisa and John Coulter were there and doing that! Many of these men, like the Sublettes - had family roots on the early Kentucky or Tennessee frontiers.

Jerry Eitner has donated one of his notable frontier blacksmith style hunting knives with sheath, Scott Summerville one of his high quality period accurate folding knives with bone scales.  Note that knives by Rich McDonald, Joe Seabolt accompany their hunting bag sets.  Jerry Eitner’s knife is rugged and reliable, forged from 1080 steel.  The 5 1/2 blade has an Indiana deer antler handle.  Paired with the black leather sheath this knife says frontier and use me.

Scott Summerville donated one of his elegant period correct folding knives.  This knife has bone scales and the crocus polish of best Sheffield and Solingen folders of the early 19th century.

The selection of hunting bags and bags sets for this auction is really remarkable.  I really want one of these bags, I just cannot decide which one. 

Noted pouch maker, Maryellen Pratt teamed up with noted blacksmith Joe Seabolt for this years auction. Maryellen made the pouch, horn strap, and lucet. Joe Seabolt made everything else. The set is in part based original work of the period but is really a contemporary bag and horn set inspired by work of the early 1800s. The D shaped pouch is made of a mix of bark tanned deer hide and calf hide, hand sewn with linen thread. Has a forged iron buckle and fringed embellishments on the flap and sheath.   The contemporary horn by Joe Seabolt has a unique iron "end cap" stamped w/ makers mark, and a turned walnut applied tip. The spout plug is secured by a length of lucet cordage hand woven by Maryellen, an interesting small detail. Maryellen also produced the loom woven strap with leather ends. There is a river cane powder measure and vent pick suspended by steel chain -  powder measure features burned in decoration- and a Seabolt traditional antler handled half tang patch knife.

Jeanne McDonald has donated a Southern Mountain bag with classic lines and  a woven strap, the workmanship definitely being of the better class of southern bag, then or now.  Rich McDonald furnished the knife and the classic accoutrements, a fish bullet block, and handcrafted brush, net pick and measure. 

Chris Barker designed and assembled a great early 19th century (or late 18th century) bag.  The bag is by Chris with a lined deerskin body.  The bag also features a complete set of accoutrerments,including a Jeff White knife, Mark Ewing powder measure and Southern banded horn, and hand forged iron buckles and vent pick from Wilde Weavery. Chris fabricated a pan brush to complete the set.

Don and Tina Shaver have contributed a great beaver tail shaped bag with nicely sculpted buffalo powder horn and bone measure. Both the bag and horn have excellent workmanship and style and Don and Tina are well known for their work.  I think it is a classic early Missouri/rocky mountain style perfect for heading west at the end of the war.

Well known, long time hunting pouch maker William Smith has donated a special bag for the fundraising auction. This is a double bag with double pockets in each section. A large bag it has the holding and organizing features a shooter or trekking reenactor needs. The black leather is of top shelf quality and the design, stitching, and fitting is best cordwainers work.  Bill’s pouches have a reputation with serious shooters for their well thought design, workmanship and durability and this one will offer it’s lucky owner a lifetime of service.

 This year promises to be another great auction.  The CLA greatly appreciates the support of the artists who donate their time and talent to make the auction a success.  We also appreciate the bidders who support the auction. Remember, the auction this year is on Friday,  If you cannot be there remember absentee bidding is available.

There will be  a special separate auction item donated by Earl Lanning.  It is not by a CLA artist so it will be auctioned separately.  This appealing image of  of Simon Kenton in a winter camp did hang in Earl’s home for many years. There is nice attention to detail in the depictions of the clothing, arms and accoutrements; this piece looks like it could be gracing a museum display about Kenton and his life on the frontier through the War of 1812.   It is oil on canvas by "Selleikjer N.A." Date unknown. Some damage, sold as is.

For those who are unable to attend the annual show, we are once again offerering an absentee bid process.  Absentee bids can be mailed or emailed to the CLF and will be accepted up to 5 days prior to the auction.  All bids must include the maximum bid amount, credit card information(type and #s required) and full contact information.  Shipping and insurance will be added to the final bid price. All sales are final.  

Forward bids to the Contemporary Longrifle Foundation :  The postal address is CLA, attention Auction Manager, POBox 2247, Staunton VA 24402 and email is cla@longrifle.com please put "Auction Bid" in the subject line.


A note on phone bids: we do not have  the structure to handle live phone bids through the CLF.  However bidders are welcome to make their own arrangements with friends on the floor to handle bids by cell phone.

After the auction we will notify winning bidders of the charges, and we will notify those who were outbid. 

The CLA wishes to thank all of our donating artists and encourage you to give them your patronage.  Their contact information follows.

Jerry Eitner - Frontier blacksmith knife and sheath

Scott Summerville - Period folding knife

Bill Smith   Double hunting pouch with multiple inset pockets

Maryellen Pratt and Joe Seabolt - Bag, horn and knife

TC Albert and Tim Crosby - pouch and horn set

Chris Barker - Pouch, Horn, knife, vent pick and ball bag, set

Rich and Jean McDonald - Pouch, measure, brush, pick ,and bullet board


Don  and Tina Shaver - Bag and Horn Set

William Smith - Hunting Bag

Marc Tornichio - Iron mounted rifle

Roger Sells   Bull rifle,  iron mounted

Mike Miller  Copy of Elisha Bull pistol

We also wish to offer a special thank you to Earl Lanning for his donation of a painting of Simon Kenton by the artist  N.A Selleikjer 

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