November 17, 2020 Early Arms & Militaria: Age of Exploration, Empire & Revolution
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2020
For another example with nearly identical carving, see rifle no. 50 on pages 84-85 of "The Lancaster Long Rifle" by Patrick Hornberger and John Kolar. Both this rifle and the rifle shown in the book are attributed to Christian Beck, the second son of John Philip Beck. Christian was born in 1782. The cheek side raised carving shows a similarity to J.P. Beck's work, and it is believed that both brothers probably trained under the same master. This rifle probably dates circa 1800-1810. The rifle has a .42 caliber smoothbore octagon barrel measuring 42 - 1/8" with a brass front sight and notched rear sight. The lockplate is flat with beveled edges and a small molding towards the back of the tail. The plain brass furniture includes a four-piece, unengraved patchbox retained by screws and terminating in a whale's tail finial. As evident by the lack of engraving, Christian Beck was a master carver but lacked confidence when it came to the art of engraving metal. There is a long toeplate terminating in an acorn finial. The toeplate is also where the rectangular patchbox release button is located. The rest of the brass furniture is classic Lebanon County. There is a vacant silver oval wrist escutcheon as well as a half-moon inlaid above the cheekpiece on the left side. There are also silver escutcheons on both sides of the forend around each barrel key. The highly figured maple stock has relief carved designs around the barrel tang, lock, sideplate, and ramrod entry ferrule. There are large relief scrolls with incised details on both sides of the wrist and around the comb. There are incised ovals around the wrist escutcheon and the moon inlay above the cheekpiece. There are large, more ornate 'C' scrolls above the cheekpiece on the left side. The wooden ramrod is a replacement. CONDITION: Barrel retains a freckled brown patina and had about 7" professionally restored. Lock is a good reconversion and retains a brown patina, functions well. Brass furniture retains a pleasing, even mustard patina showing a few scattered marks. Silver furniture retains a nice pewter patina. Stock retains much original finish and patina in protected areas, low areas, and around carving. There are some slivers of wood replaced around the lock, sideplate, toe, and a few slivers on each side of the forend. There is also about 7" replaced at the muzzle. There are also additional holes showing the barrel pins have been moved about 2", otherwise stock shows some wear, grain cracks, and scattered marks. A very attractive Golden Age relief-carved Kentucky rifle.
Barrel Length
42 - 1/8"
.42 Smoothbore
FFL Status
Christian Beck
Flintlock Kentucky Rifle
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $18,000.00
Estimate: $7,000 - $15,000
Number Bids: 22
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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