Rare Rifle and Accessory Collection Carried by Frontiersman David Cooke
Rifle in this ensemble has 42" full oct unmarked .45 Cal rifled bbl. Curly maple stock is very basic in design and not embellished with sideplate, inlays or unnecessary decorations. Obviously a rifle made for one purpose, to use in the hunt. Rifle has a sheath buttplate with tang inlet into top of comb and a profile typical of rifles made in northwestern Lehigh County area. Rifle has a wooden patchbox whose lid appears to be orig to gun. Orig flintlock is simply marked "WARRANTED". The exciting part of this collection is the rifle is accompanied by a large display board on which there is a rich harvest from the past and a perfect comment on our hunting heritage. Everything on the board came with rifle and was carried by frontiersman David Cooke. Most of what you would expect is there; horn, priming horn, powder measure, bullet board, mold, bullet pouch, and even the lock cover. Knives are normal, too. But there is more: Salt horn, spoon, game calls, dog bell, compass, spectacles. All of the things displayed on the board were carried by David Cooke in his hunting pouch, also included in the display. This entire assembly was purchased directly from the family of David Cooke by collector Bernard Roob. David Cooke is located in the tax records of Norristown, PA from 1780-1842 at which time he died. He must have been a hunter with no other occupation since none is listed for him. Cooke hunted for a living and either sold or traded the game he shot. His rifle and the entire contents of his hunting pouch were kept intact by his family for several generations until the last of his clan, a great granddaughter, sold it to Mr. Roob. This display was featured in the Kentucky Rifle Association Bulletin in the summer of 1976 and also was featured in The American Hunter magazine in December of 1975
PROVENANCE: Frank Sujansky Collection.
CONDITION: Small wood repair between front of lock and trigger guard. Spring catch for wooden patchbox door is missing. Very small shrinkage crack at toe of butt. Lock is orig flint. 4-49445 RG54 (8,000-12,000)
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers