Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Although no documented proof currently exists, some believe that Peter Kuntz, Sr. was formally trained as a gunsmith and worked in the trade during the Revolutionary War and about a decade after. Peter Kuntz, Sr. died in 1846 in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania at the age of 89. There are less than a handful of surviving examples of his work, which are very similar to this one. This rifle was probably made in the last quarter of the 18th century and the rifle shows strong characteristics of both Lehigh and Bucks Counties. The full length, octagonal barrel is unsigned and features a brass front sight and a notched iron rear sight centered on the block, which is a typical Lehigh County feature. The flat lock is unmarked and has a molded border towards the tail. The brass furniture includes a four piece patchbox with crudely engraved designs and borders. The lid is inscribed "P. Kunz". The sideplate is in the Bucks County style and has beveled edges The trigger guard is similar to those seen on the work of Moravian gunsmith William Antes. It terminates at the rear tang in a thumbnail design and is retained at the back with a screw. The ramrod entry ferrule is of Bucks County form with a long extension with engraved designs. The highly figured maple stock is of classic early Lehigh Valley form and features incised panels around the lock and sideplate, terminating in the back in a Fleur-de-Lis. There are relief and incised designs on both sides of the wrist around the comb and behind the long, molded cheekpiece, which shows heavy Bucks County influence. There are incised moldings on both sides of the forearm consistent with Bucks County. Complete with a replaced period ramrod. CONDITION: Barrel shows a mostly heavy, brown patina with corrosion at the breech. Barrel has been reconverted as well as the replaced lock. Brass furniture retains a very dark patina. Sideplate, patchbox surrounds, and nosecap are professional replacements and are very well matched. The patchbox lid has a braised repair towards the hinge, only visible from the inside. Stock shows much of its original finish with some pieces replaced around the lock and a piece between the lock and the barrel tang. The carving shows some wear and there are some scattered marks from use. The forend shows some splinters replaced on both sides. A very interesting rifle with strong characteristics, both Lehigh and Bucks Counties.

Minimum Bid: $2,500.00

Final prices included buyers premium: $7,200.00

Estimate: $5,000. - $8,000.

Number of bids: 14

Copy and photos supplied by Morphy Auctions here.

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