May 18, 2021 Early Arms & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/18/2021
This well-known and well documented Revolutionary War Kentucky rifle is featured in several books. It is shown on pages 115-117 of "Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in its Golden Age" by Joe Kindig, Jr. It is also featured in Volume I on pages 308-311 of "Rifles of Colonial America" by George Shumway. The rifle is also featured on pages 136 and 137 of "Gunsmiths of Lancaster County" by Wood, Jr. and Whisker. John Newcomer, Sr. is listed as a gunsmith in Hempfield Township, Lancaster County in 1771, 1772, 1779 and 1780. John Newcomer, Sr. died in 1782. This iconic rifle has a swamped octagonal barrel engraved "IOHN NEWCOMER" on the top flat, towards the breech in block letters in the German fashion. The tang is engraved with designs. The handmade lock is flat. The center is engraved with scrolls and the tail is engraved with a daisy. The original brass furniture is engraved in the early English fashion and includes a buttplate measuring 2 1/8" in the widest spot and the butt is nearly flat. The tang is engraved with military motifs including a bow, an axe, and a quiver. The sideplate is finely engraved with the same motifs. Both trigger guard tangs are engraved and the bow is engraved with military motifs en suite, pierced iron trigger. The ramrod entry ferrule tang is engraved with a shaded fleur-de-lis design. A small piece of brass was tacked on around the toe during the period of use. Rifle never had a toeplate. The four-piece patchbox with three piercings was added later in the rifle's life and was not made by or engraved by the same hand; probably made by Simon Lauck of Virginia. In addition, it improperly covers a small detail of carving on the right side of the comb. The highly figured maple stock is of early Lancaster form with the wrist extending into the buttstock and the top of the comb is completely flat. There are carved with relief panels around the lock and sideplate terminating at the back in elongated teardrops. There are relief scalloped designs around both sides of the comb, terminating in a small scroll on each side. A bellflower is carved in relief around the ramrod entry ferrule and the barrel tang. On the left side of the buttstock there is a large relief-carved "N" design, consisting of intertwined foliate scrolls. There is also a relief design in front of the molded relief cheekpiece. Complete with a period replaced wooden ramrod. CONDITION: Barrel retains a dark patina with clear signature and some pitting at breech. Lock appears to be in its original flintlock configuration and retains a matching patina, functions well. Brass retains a dark mustard patina and engraving is crisp. Stock is very good, showing little wear with one sliver missing along the barrel on the left side. This rifle was obviously well cared for throughout its long life. A truly iconic Revolutionary War Kentucky Rifle. DMG

Item Dimensions: L: 65"
Barrel Length
49 - 1/2"
.54 Smoothbore
Drop at Comb
Drop at Heel
FFL Status
Length of Pull
John Newcomer
Kentucky Rifle
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $26,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $90,000.00
Estimate: $50,000 - $100,000
Number Bids: 21
Auction closed on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
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