Long before April 19th, 1775, when patriots at Lexington and Concord sent a loud message to the world that our freedom was everything to us, longrifles had been synonymous with providing food for colonial families, as well as protecting the homeland. This display captures that same spirit that sustained our forefathers, featuring a recreation of a colonial longrifle as well as a homespun patriot’s flag, supported by a weathered piece of oak and ash for the stand. When the call to fight for the freedom we all treasure came, patriots with rifles and muskets like this answered.
This Colonial era rifle started life as a .54 caliber, maple stock, Jim Kibler Colonial Rifle Kit. The final fit and finish were provided by noted CLA gunmaker, Paul Bigham of Cuba, Missouri. The rifle has a Siler lock and Rice barrel. Paul expertly finished the wood, and added a tasteful amount of carving and metal engraving. He also added an engraved silver “Compass Rose” to the cheekpiece, to help commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the CLA. The barrel and metal parts were left untouched after final polishing, to develop their own natural patina, just as the originals.
The “Patriot’s Flag”, made of cotton material, was dyed, and cut and sewn by Paul Fennewald. It was aged, complete with bullet holes and powder burns, with help by Matthew Fennewald. The stars were cut using the fold and single- snip method reported to have used by the first US Patriot Flag maker, Betsy Ross. Both the rifle and flag are displayed on a weathered display stand of oak and ash. A handmade flag, such as this, requires a great deal of time and careful attention; the combination of the rifle, flag and stand is a work of art.
(Editor’s note; Paul Bigham is a repeat supporter of the CLF auction. Paul Fennewald is also a repeat supporter, and the CLF Auction Chairman. The CLF thanks them both for their continued support.)
Paul Bigham’s contact information is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Fennewald’s contact information is: email@example.com
Photography by David Wright
Text by Paul Fennewald