October 22-23, 2019 Extraordinary, Sporting & Collector Firearms
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/22/2019
Samuel Stull was an Ohio gunsmith who lived between 1808 and 1907. He was a farmer and a gunsmith and began making rifles at a very young age, reportedly at age 12. He spent his entire life on a farm located about 1 - 3/4 miles south of Millwood in Knox County, Ohio. He reportedly used to walk to Canton and purchase barrel blanks, which he carried home on his back. He likely farmed in the summer and practiced gunsmithing during the winter months. In 1952, 125 Stull rifles were on exhibit at the Mt. Vernon Armory. This rifle is likely his masterpiece. The full octagon rifled barrel features a brass dovetailed front sight with silver blade. The rear sight is an adjustable ramp sight. Top flat is signed "S * Stull" in script, in a banner surrounded by ornate scrolls. The barrel tang is also decorated with scrolls. The fine, flat, handmade percussion lockplate has a finely executed roped border and is engraved with scrolls. The hammer is engraved en suite. The bolster is decorated with two roped relief rings. The brass patchbox is in the style of Bedford County, Pennsylvania and had five half moon piercings. It is engraved with roped borders and floral scrollwork with tulips on the lid. The long, three stage toeplate is retains by seven screws, between each is engraved a shaded scroll. The rifle features double set triggers and a fine trigger guard with chased relief panels, scrolls, and engraved designs. A brass wearplate extends from the front of the trigger guard the entire way to the ramrod entry ferrule. It is shaped and engraved with vines bearing flowers, a series of crossed arrows, and other borders and floral designs. The ramrod entry ferrule has an engraved tulip on the tang. In front of the brass buttplate tang there is a long German silver comb wearplate, retained by small silver pins and engraved with scrolls and floral designs. There are a total of 28 solid sterling silver inlays, all of which were engraved. Some of these designs include 'C' scrolls, hearts, half moons, and on each side closest to the muzzle is a sleeved hand with thumb pointed upward and index finger pointed forward. As the lock is retained by a screw on the front, the faux silver sideplate is in the shape of a ribbon and decorated with checkered panels and shading. The ovoid silver wrist escutcheon is decorated with a border and dated 1850. Above the cheekpiece is a large, silver, ovoid inlay engraved with a well executed patriotic eagle with tulips on each side of its head. Behind the cheek piece there is an inlay on an engraved and detailed cocked percussion pistol. This pistol is composed of seven separate pieces, including silver sights, hammer, trigger, and trigger guard. The pistol is engraved with scrollwork and designs and has a brass ramrod, just as this rifle has a brass ramrod. About 1/4" from the muzzle is an inlaid silver ball being shot from the pistol. Below the pistol there are two large rattlesnakes inlaid into the stock and profusely decorated with scales; one his a silver tongue in its mouth, separately inlaid. The brass nosecap is engraved with 'C' scroll designs which mimic the engraved silver inlays on the forestock. The rifle is complete with its original brass ramrod. The full length, highly figured, maple stock is relief and incised carved in front of the lock and sideplate with three gadrooned panels on each side. There are also shaped relief panels around the lockplate and sideplate, as well as a relief comb. The highly relief cheek piece is also molded. There are two incised scrolls, one on each side of the ramrod entry ferrule and panels between each silver inlay along the forend on both sides. CONDITION: This beautiful rifle belonged to the consignor's late father and was stored in a closet in Massachusetts for as long as she can remember (over 55 years). It is in untouched, attic condition with no polishing or restoration. Very good condition overall with no missing inlays, damage, or alterations. The barrel retains a light brown patina with sharp edges and crisp engraving. The sight ramp is now absent. The original percussion lock retains a matching patina, shows no pitting or corrosion, and functions well. Brass is complete unpolished and retains a dark mustard patina. Engraving on all inlays and hardware shows little or no use. The silver inlays all retain a dark, unpolished patina. The stock retains all of its dry, original finish and shows only a couple light storage marks. This diminutive rifle, signed and dated, with inlaid rattlesnakes and a pistol, is almost certainly Samuel Stall's masterpiece and worthy of the finest Kentucky rifle collection. DG
Barrel Length
37 - 3/8"
.32 Rifled
Drop at Comb
Drop at Heel
FFL Status
Length of Pull
Samuel Stull
Percussion Kentucky
Stull Article
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $15,600.00
Estimate: $20,000 - $40,000
Number Bids: 5
Auction closed on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
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