This well aged and distressed Allentown rifle has a very authentic look, feel and patina. The octagonal barrel has a brass front sight and a notched iron rear sight. The Germanic style lock is flat with beveled edges. Made in the Schimmel style with no buttplate, one round brass ramrod ferrule and no sideplate or nose cap. There is a small engraved silver eight point star secured by a screw in the center and inlaid above the cheekpiece. Brass Lehigh County trigger guard. Oval shaped two piece iron patchbox inlaid on the lid with a large "Allentown Indian" head. Stock of partially figured tiger maple and displaying fantastic classic Lehigh form. Made with brass wire repairs on forend and a leather re-enforcement around the single ramrod ferrule. Complete with a brass tipped wooden ramrod and a fitted fringed leather scabbard.
CONDITION: Aged to appear original with much distress. Action is strong and functions well. A very attractive contemporary Lehigh rifle with a well used authentic look and feel.
"Above is pictured a Lehigh Valley longrifle of the 1790s. This piece is stocked in an average piece of sugar maple with some mineral streaking on the cheek side of the butt, however it also displays a fair amount of curl throughout the entire piece. Typical schimmel wood! The rifle is very plain and representative of a "barn gun," the only evident brassware being a triggerguard and single ramrod pipe. The lock is a Chambers Deluxe Siler (which has been casehardened to a mottled blue/gray) while the .36 cal Green Mountain barrel has been drawfiled and left bright. Low, traditional sights have been mounted. The trigger, triggerplate and lock nails (2) have been forged of iron. True to plain-jane form the barrel has merely been drawfiled to a smooth finish and the brassware smooth-filed only w/ a bit of burnishing. The stock, having been scraped only, is of an amber color and has simply been coated with a beeswax/linseed oil mix. This is a low-gloss finish very different from that of a varnish and would be typical to the plainest arms. Overall, a very utilitarian arm of sharp and graceful architecture which represents a common "schimmel" of Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley.
It obviously has since been heavily antiqued by someone other than me! Originally it was signed with an “EK” engraving with a deep engraved star between the two initials but this has been removed. A close look at the photos of the barrel top flat, between the sight and the breech, shows the heavy file marks where the signature was removed although some faint traces of the star engraving can still be seen. Also, the barrel has apparently been reamed and re-rifled. Admittedly, as a straight Green Mountain barrel, it was a bit muzzle heavy and I’d assume that being opened up to .48 cal renders it much lighter. Also I like the aging job as well as the box addition, and I think it’s more interesting now than when originally made!"
"Eric Kettenburg made the gun. I added a few thing to it and shot it for several years."
"I owned this gun and know the man that carried it before me."
"It was carried for some time by Oliver McCloskey and used extensively. "
"This rifle was photographed at the 2015 CLA Show by Jan Riser from the table of Todd Daggett. More photos can be seen here."
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