September 29, 2021 The Bill Myers Collection
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/29/2021
Included with this fine slender rifle is the silver hang tag from the Kentucky Rifle Association Award for “BEST INCISED CARVED RIFLE 1979". This classic, streamlined longarm is the epitome of the defining features of the Lehigh County School of Gunsmithing at its zenith. Stocked in vibrant highly figured tiger maple, there is a double arch in its profile running behind the lock to the bottom of the butt. The egg-shaped wrist is wider than its height. It displays an arrow head at the rear of the brass sideplate, which is a typical feature on Allentown area guns of the period. There are double tool lines flanking the centered blade sight on its octagon to round barrel. Its most unusual feature is its bottom hinged patchbox that is more indicative of neighboring Bucks County made rifles. This longarm has traditional carving motifs that are typical of the best gunsmiths working in the region, such as Niehart, Kunt and Herman Rupp. The classic vine designs carved around the patchbox, scrolls around the cheek piece and behind the barrel tang are reminiscent of the decorations used in Christian Springs at the Moravian Gun Shop. Of special note is the desirable Indian head/liberty cap head carved in front of the trigger guard's front tang. John Rupp’s rifles are often compared to and mistaken for Jacob Kuntz’s rifles based on excellence of execution. For a similar signed example with practically the exact carving on both sides of the cheekpiece and with the same Indian, see "Thoughts on the Kentucky Longrifle" page 175 by Joe Kindig Jr. See “The Kentucky Long Rifle”, Chapter 5, The Associated Bethlehem School, by Merrill Lindsay for another Lehigh School Gun with a bottom hinged patchbox. Complete with its original wooden ramrod. CONDITION: Barrel and lock retain a pleasing dark brown patina. Lock is in its original flintlock configuration. Brass retains a mellow mustard patina. Stock is very good with much original dark patina. Narrow strip of wood replaced under lockplate . A 1”x3” strip of wood in front of the trigger guard has been secured with wooden pins. Small loss of wood behind tombstone-shaped barrel tang. Bore shows heavy wear to rifling. One of the most slender and early Lehigh rifles with fantastic architecture and condition. PROVENANCE: Walter O’Conner; Keith Collis, Ruth Collis Collection. DRG
Barrel Length
.52 rifled
FFL Status
John Rupp I, Attributed
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $38,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $75,000 - $150,000
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
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