Thursday, November 19, 2009

Larry Curnow

The rifle uses a forty-two inch Getz barrel of .62 cal. The lock is an early English style by Jim Chambers. The piece is intended to represent a Virginia rifle on the 1750 to late 1760's era and displays strong English influence indicated in part by the shell carvings at the tang and ramrod entry pipe, the carving style seen on the cheek piece and general stock profile. Specifically, the figured sugar maple stock would indicate provincial manufacture assuming the piece was not restocked at some point. However, the barrel length is not typical of an English rifle. Although the furniture is clearly English in design, the folk art engraving including chipped border also clearly indicates colonial manufacture and is found frequently on Virginia rifles by Ezra Engle, John Davidson, John Fisher, William McClure, Henry and Martin Sheets and others. This type of engraving is also seen on a Virginia pistol by John Bullard, J. Shriver in Berks County Pennsylvania used this style on at least one rifle, but Pennsylvania arms with folk art engraving are much more rare.

Larry Curnow was born in 1951 and has lived in and around Bakersfield California since that time. His interest in the American longrifle began with an early addiction to Disney's Davy Crockett and the Fess Parker television series Daniel Boone. Larry purchased his first muzzleloader, a Spanish cap lock pistol, in 1966 and has been hooked on front loaders ever since. Having a background in painting with a BA in fine art further enhanced his appreciation of the excellence exhibited in the work of 18th century rifle smiths and that of contemporary artisans recreating this truly American form of expression. It was in 1969, at the age of eighteen, that he undertook the building of his first Kentucky pistol. Rifle and pistol making became an occasional undertaking in order to supply the needs of an increasing interest in buckskinning and historical trekking that became a serious passion beginning in 1989. The increasing urge to create 18th century longrifles, several trips to Colonial Williamsburg and an early retirement lead to his nearly full time devotion to rifle making in 2005. Research, painting and the collecting of early American and Asian antiques rounds things out.

Larry's focus is the creation of historically accurate representations of American rifles from colonial Pennsylvania and Virginia from 1750 to the end of the Revolutionary War.

Copy and photos supplied by Larry Curnow.

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