Monday, June 12, 2023



Lot: 3491

Estimate: $8,000-12,000

Price Realized: $12,100.00 USD

CONTEMPORARY KENTUCKY RIFLE BUILDER AND MAKER OF KNIVES, SPURS, ETC. Cal. 65. NSN. John Ennis is a self trained custom gun maker with roots in traditional handwork who built his first rifle at the age of sixteen. He taught himself engraving with the aid of James Meek's book "The Art of Engraving". To further the development of his talent he attended gunsmithing school in Colorado. He was a tool & die maker for the aerospace industry in the late 1980's. He started restoring antique rifles in the 90's. He also built complete rifles and branched into making custom spurs and knives. This beautifully finished rifle is not a copy of any particular style but it incorporates elements that Ennis favored. It has 42" swamped octagon barrel fitted with "U" notch rear and silver bead front sights. Top flat is engraved with very well done large shaded scroll with shell and acanthus highlights surrounding the initials "J.E.". Handmade early style flintlock with rounded plate has well filed serpentine cock, semi-waterproof pan, bridled friction frizzen and feather spring with flame finial. Lock and cock are engraved with large open scroll. Stock of curly grain hard maple is brass mounted. Mounts include early style trigger guard with foliate finial, wide buttplate with early style top tang and a unique two piece patchbox treatment with very attractive heart pierced finial and box cover with high "turtle shell" dome. Release is at center of buttplate. These fittings are also beautifully engraved with classic shells and scrolls as well as some floral highlights. Engraving on patchbox cover is of intertwined bow, quiver of arrows, tomahawk and cutlass. Silver wire inlay outlines patchbox. Stock is relief carved with Rococo tendrils of acanthus scroll and other stock elements around barrel tang and fancy beaded right hand cheekpiece. A silver heart is inlaid at face and there is a silver crest plate at top of grip. Stock extends to muzzle with brass cap and is pinned to barrel. Horn tipped rosewood ramrod with beautifully finished worm on tail, mounts through two octagonal beaded pipes and matching thimble. All workmanship is of the highest order, beyond reproach.

CONDITION: exceptionally fine retaining nearly all maker applied finishes to wood and metal. Barrel and lock retain over 95% original bright polish with some areas of light staining. Stock is exceptionally fine with only three or four light scratches in its original oil finish, brass is nicely toned. Bore is bright and shiny throughout, lock is crisp. Simply stated, this is a beautiful rifle. This rifle is pictured on page 80 of the September/October 2014 "Muzzleloader" magazine in an article on John Ennis entitled "Talent.Versatility.Excellence". 01-21924/MGM). 

The realized price has been added to items previously posted on the Poulin Auction.

Copy and photography from 2023 Spring Poulin's Auction here.

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