Sunday, July 23, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: Pistol Case by Jerry Moniot

Sometimes when you have something really nice, you want to have it in a case that you can open when you want to display it, and close when you want to be a bit more discreet, Also you might prefer not to shove your antique Nicholas-Noel Boutet French officer’s pistol into a cigar box. 

Jerry Moniot hand made this finely crafted chest he refers to as a pistol case.  I mentioned Boutet because that is the level of pistol that would be perfectly appropriate in this case.  If you put a vintage Luger in this case, people will say “Nice Luger but where did you get that case!”

This case is  11” X 19” X 6.5” tall.  It is a finely handcrafted pistol case made of rare curly cherry with curly walnut, figured maple and ebony inserts. Jerry chased this wood down from Wayne Dunlap.  Note the fine dovetail construction and the inlay work.  There is a well inletted premium grade lock.  So if you have a really nice or rare pistol, or you just want to have the best pistol case at the show, this is perfect for you. 

Copy by Heinz Ahlers with photos by Gordon Barlow

Saturday, July 22, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: Hunting Pouch by Bill Smith

Few items in a modern longhunter’s kit are as important as a comfortable possibles bag.  Buyers on today’s market can find few bags as well made, aesthetically pleasing, or long lasting than those crafted by Kentucky artist Bill Smith.

Smith produces a custom-made bag for the CLA auction each year, and this year’s exceptional offering is sure to please prospective bidders.  Smith describes the bag as a small haversack or messenger’s bag, and it’s perfectly sized for a day hunt.  Typical of the artist’s work, this bag is constructed entirely of historically appropriate materials.  The body of the bag is crafted from genuine hemp canvas, at one time a staple agricultural product of frontier Kentucky.  Smith dyed the canvas in black walnut hulls and then sealed the surface with beeswax.  The front flap and shoulder strap is crafted from heavy weight but supple cow hide, and both are fitted with hand-forged iron buckles.  The body of the bag is entirely hand-sewn with 5 strand waxed linen.

Bill Smith’s bags are exemplary samples of the leatherworker’s craft and have set a precedent in the field for quality.  The artist explains that he plans to donate a bag to the CLA auction “every year until I can’t make bags anymore.”  It’s simply his way of supporting a worthy endeavor.  “I want to give back to the CLA,” says Smith, “it’s a wonderful organization.”

For more information on the work of the artist, contact:

Bill Smith

Copy by Joshua Shepherd with photos by David Wright

Thursday, July 20, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: Rifle and Hunting Bag with Knife by Josh Wrightsmant and Gary Tingler

The pre revolutionary frontier, west of the great wagon road was an exciting place, from the Allegheny River country down through western Virginia and the Carolinas.  The Frontiersman were learning their trade and the skills that would take them across the continent.  One of their primary tools was the American longrifle and one of the cradles of longrifle development was Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  

Josh Wrightsmant and Gary Tingler have created an early frontier rifle and hunting bag with knife for the auction.  The rifle is an early Lancaster, late transition style, with a 38" swamped B weight. 50 cal barrel. Josh cast the trigger guard and sideplate. He also made the ramrod thimbles and trigger.  Josh hand forged the lock and tang bolts and made the front and rear sights. The rifle has a tapered hickory ramrod with rolled sheet metal tip. Josh fabricated all the patchbox release parts.  The buttplate, patchbox and large Siler lock were purchased.  The sugar maple stock is incised and relief carved. The stock was scraped and burnished, stained with nitrate of iron and hand rubbed with aged linseed oil.  All the hardware, the barrel and the lock have been aged with ammonia, vinegar and saltwater to give a well cared for but aged appearance.

Josh also made the very nice hand forged bag knife with bone handle and pewter bolster.  Gary Tingler contributed the excellent elk hide bag, hand sewn with waxed linen and with a nice edging and flap decoration.  The bag also has interior pockets and a Kris Polizzi hand woven strap.  Altogether this is a remarkable set, that just cries out to be used.  As the old saying goes, “it would do well to run the river with.”  It would be right at home on the Ohio, the Monongahela, or the Cumberland before the Revolution.

Josh said “I built the rifle to donate because I wanted to do my part in helping to preserve an important part of our history. I feel that the CLA/CLF is doing a great job at this. I want to thank them for giving me a chance to donate and help in educating and preserving such an important part of history.”

Josh Wrightsman’s contact information is

Gary Tingler’s email is

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: "I See It Too" by Andrew Knez

This great Andrew Knez painting was scheduled to be auctioned last year.  That did not happen.  Your auction Chairman was a bit remiss in the logistics also Andrew unfortunately was involved in a serious automobile accident on his way too the auction.  We deferred the auction of the painting off to this year.  We are happy to say Andrew has recovered nicely and should be at the auction this year. We have straightened out the logistics and the painting should also be there. Joshua Shepherd’s fine write-up from last year follows.

Attendees of the CLA’s live auctions are regularly treated to a stunning array of arms and accoutrements from some of the longrifle culture’s best artisans, but the bidders at the 2016 event will be afforded a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to own an original painting by noted frontier artist Andrew Knez Jr.

The oil-on-canvas masterwork, titled I See It Too, depicts a mounted frontiersman gripping a longrifle balanced across the pommel of his saddle; more than that, it’s a truly exceptional depiction of the frontier character.  Both horse and rider have clearly seen something on the trail that demands their attention - perhaps game, smoke, or Indians – but the artist has lent the painting a bit of edgy mystique.  The rifleman and his mount are obviously intent on something”, says the artist, but it’s not life or death yet.  I like to leave a little bit to the imagination of the viewer.”
The remarkable canvas constitutes one of the showcase offerings for this year’s auction and is sure to attract a good bit of appropriate attention from collectors.  We all need to support the CLA in whatever way is practical,” says Knez.  His donation of I See It Too is, observes the artist, is the most sensible way to raise funds” for a worthy cause: the continued vitality of the Contemporary Longrifle Association.    

Andrew is a member of the American Plains Artists, Artists of the American West and a signature member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society.

Andrew’s work may be viewed  at
You may contact Andrew at 724-969-3200.

Copy by Joshua Shepherd with photos by Gordon Barlow.

Monday, July 17, 2017

English Fowler by Ketland

cal. 0.680  
barrel 38 inch long

Photo supplied by Contemporary Makers' European Correspondent, Manfred Schmitz.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: Youth’s Rifle by Terry Methe

Young people on the frontier went about armed from an early age.  In  “Thoughts on Kentucky Rifle in the Golden Age” Joe Kindig Jr. shows a 30 inch barreled youth’s rifle he attributes to Wolfgang Haga.  This is an early gun with a brass box and raised carving.  Kindig also notes that he owned another boys rifle by Fredrick Zorger dated 1805 that was engraved and had a patchbox.  Nathan Boone related killing a deer with a rifle in 1793 when he was 12 years old.  He also stated he had a smaller “bird rifle" before that.  (We have what is very likely a copy of Nathan’s deer rifle in the auction donated by Ed Fish.)  So in addition to cut down, old muskets we know that some lucky young people received some classy purpose built firearms.

Terry Methe has made a grand style boy’s or girl’s smooth rifle for the auction.  This gun is 35 1/2 inches in overall length with a 23” barrel, 5/8 of an inch across the flats.  A 36 caliber, the gun is light and handy with a 11” length of pull.

The diminutive flintlock is one of this guns most striking features.  Carefully crafted in an English style, the lock is perfectly sized for the rifle, and it is lightning fast.

This smooth rifle has engraved brass furniture, raised carving on the highly figured maple stock and a nice patchbox. Terry Methe’s signature is engraved on the barrel. This nicely made rifle will probably make a life-long shooter out of some lucky young person.

Terry Methe’s contact information is 636 394 6865

Copy by Heinz Ahlers with photos by Ric Lambert