Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Morphy Auction 5.27.2020: EXTRAORDINARY FLINTLOCK KENTUCKY RIFLE WITH PENNSYLVANIA STATE SEAL ON PATCHBOX, ATTRIBUTED TO JACOB KUNTZ

In 1989, Joe Kindig III stated "Jacob Kuntz is certainly in a class by himself," illustrating the high regard in which his work is viewed today. Other similar examples are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Winterthur. This rifle is undoubtedly one of the finest ever made by Jacob Kuntz. The two stage barrel features an applied teardrop shaped brass front and an iron notched rear sight centered on the block. The flat lockplate has beveled edges and a step at the tail. It is stamped "W / KETLAND / & CO" in the center. Although this rifle was made while Kuntz was in Philadelphia it shows a number of Lehigh characteristics including a stepped wrist, a short relief cheekpiece, a Lehigh profile to the buttstock, and a triangular shaped forestock. The four piece pierced brass patchbox incorporates the state seal of Pennsylvania into the finely engraved pierced and inlaid composition and sets it aside from Kuntz's other work. The rifle has a classic Kuntz two piece pierced and engraved sideplate featuring floral designs. The toeplate is shaped and engraved to form a pineapple, while the Lehigh County trigger guard, with a lug in front of the bow, lacks engraving. There is a pierced brass inlay on each side of the forearm, which is decorated with engraved floral designs. There is a silver Allentown Indian head engraved with detail just in front of the trigger guard finial. Above the cheekpiece there is an ornate, engraved, and pierced silver eagle. the figured maple stock shows classic Lehigh County form and features a checkered wrist, a raised border around the barrel tang, and an incised, stylized Fleur-de-Lis, commonly found on Kuntz guns, behind the ramrod ferrule. On the left side of the cheekpiece is the signature "Jacob Kuntz" relief and incised designed featuring flowers, scalloping, and foliate scrolls surrounding a large checkered panel. Complete with a replaced brass tipped wooden ramrod. CONDITION: Barrel retains a mostly mottled brown patina with some edge wear and scattered marks. The lock is probably a replacement and has been professionally reconverted to flintlock configuration, retains a brown surface. Brass retains a mellowing patina, showing some light wear and scattered marks from use. Some minor denting to sideplate around rear lock retaining screw. Ramrod thimbles also show some wear and minor denting. Stock retains much original Lehigh violin finish in and around carving, and in protected areas. There is a small sliver replaced above the cock and a couple small slivers along the forend on the right side. It would be difficult to find a better example of a Jacob Kuntz rifle.

Minimum Bid: $20,000.00

Final Price include buyers premium: $60,000.00

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000

Number of Bids: 16


















Copy and photos from Morphy Auctions here.

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