Thursday, July 19, 2018

2018 CLA Live Auction: Tansel Style Hunting Set by Ron Hess

This great smaller sized set is constructed around a six and half inch wide and seven inch deep bag using leather repurposed from a boot.  Ron Hess owned this bag but it was made by  fellow CLA artist Ken Scott.  Ron decided to make a Tansel style horn to fit the bag. And fortunately for us he decided to donate the end product to the CLA Auction.
This is a very successful pairing.  The great molding, scrimshaw and subtle color of the horn, along with its perfect size, compliment the handy sized hunting bag.  And Ron decided to add some accoutrements as a bonus.  There is an angel silhouette bullet block, a turned antler pan brush and vent pick, and a horn powder measure.  These Honorable Company of Horners folks go all out.
Ron lives in Georgia and makes powder horns and other items constructed of horn. He is a member of the Honorable Company of Horners and gives thanks to Art Decamp and Billy Griner for their guidance and knowledge.  Researching original works and incorporating those styles and techniques is the focus of his work.  This auction item shows how successful he is at his craft.

Ron Hess can be contacted at

Text by H Ahlers with photos by H Ahlers

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Number 146 by Clay Smith

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Work by Jessie Mains with Pistol by Eric Kettenburg

Photo by Robert Weil from his archives.

2018 CLA Live Auction: Hunting Set by Lawrence Fiorillo and Todd Hambrick

This Eighteenth century style pouch and horn are in the homespun frontier style.  The oak tanned cowhide bag measures ten and a half inches long and 5 and a half inches deep.  It has a simple domed metal button closure and an internal pocket. The waxed hemp strap is wide and should make a comfortable carry. 

This horn is perfect for this bag.  It has charming folk art animal figures and a sturdy construction. There is also a powder measure, and a pan brush of antler.  This is a great set that is artfully aged and intentionally primitive. 

Lawrence Fiorillo and Todd Hambrick have created a horn and bag that speak of the frontier folk, plain simple tastes but a demand for function and a subtle sense of whimsy. This would be great with a smooth bore or a plain workmanlike rifle, perfectly at home with a Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky or Southern Mountain gun.

Lawrence and Todd are new artists for the auction.  We hope to see more of their work in the future

Lawrence Fiorillo’s email is blackpowderpouches@yahoo.comand 

Todd Hambrick’s email is

See the CLA site for more details on the auction and bidding

Text by H Ahlers with photos by H Ahlers

Monday, July 16, 2018

Made by Jacob Gross for Jesse Offield

Jacob Gross was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee, in 1797. He married Sarah (Sally) Farrington on December 12, 1812. Gross died  in 1872 .  
Gross made this fine rifle for Jessie Offield. A silver plate on the barrel states "J. Gross for Jesse Offield."
Offield also lived in Sullivan County, Tennesse. Information on the internet says Offield  was born in 1788 in Sullivan County, Tennessee, in a cabin near the Holston Valley, probably very close to the Gross farm. 
Offield was  a veteran of the war of 1812 . In 1836 or 1837 he moved to Illinois and then on to  Lock Springs, Missouri, in 1840 to 1841. He died in Daviess County, Missouri, in 1849. 
Offield was a blacksmith and had seven children. He was also a man who took good care of his rifle.

Photos by Eric Lambert. Copy and photos supplied by a friend.

Friday, July 13, 2018

"Moravian Gunmaking II - Bethlehem to Christian's Spring" by Robert Lienemann

Moravian Gunmaking II focuses narrowly on arms that were – or may have been made at the gunshop set up at Bethlehem in 1750, which then moved ca 1759 – 1763 to Christian’s Spring – a small community where young men and boys learned trades in support of their mission work.  The gunshop there was very active during several wars, but it and the broader vocational effort had faded by 1790.  

Signed William Henry, Jr. / Nazareth Pair of Pistols
Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent

“The signature of W:Henry Jr together with Nazareth suggest that these pistols were made after 1780 when young Henry moved and set up shop there, but before the death of his father William Henry of Lancaster in late 1786.”

“These pistols carry their original hickory ramrods.”

The book is now available on the Kentucky Rifle Foundation's website under the Store. You can order online with PayPal, credit card or with a check by mail. The book sells for $85.00 plus $8.95 S&H. Proceeds support the KRF mission of broadening the knowledge and appreciation of the American longrifle. Descriptions of all KRF books, CDs, and ordering information can be found at: (or send check or money order to: Kentucky Rifle Foundation, 844 Round Hill Rd, Winchester, VA 22602)

Copy and photos supplied by by Robert Lienemann.

Pistol photos by Kenneth Orr.