September 29, 2021 The Bill Myers Collection
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/29/2021
Few American Longrifle related items could be of more significance than this untouched, unique, and important early dovetailed rifle chest. It is built with channels for five rifles under the hinged lid over three drawers. Two of the channels retain traces of their original canvas covering. The other three channels have been relined with canvas in more recent times. This is the only Kentucky rifle chest known to exist. It was purchased at an estate sale in May of 1989 from one of the log out buildings built at a homestead known locally as the “Willows”. The property was located two miles south of Mooresville in Hardy County, West Virginia. The “Willows" has a known and storied history. Of documented interest during the Civil War period, a Confederate Major Gilmore was captured from this house by Union Troops shortly before General Lee surrendered. The exterior of the pine case of this rifle chest has an original, untouched, dry, red wash surface and measures 64 ½ “ x 14 ½”. It is made with hand cut, dovetailed corners and drawers throughout. The chest is constructed using handmade screws, square cut nails and all four of its original, period, steel locks. The interior of the lid is reinforced with 4 ½” battens on each end and the case is supported on four original, bun type feet. Its three exterior drawers being molded and lipped with overlapping fronts, in the early style. The larger center drawer is 23” wide and is flanked by two 13” smaller drawers. Its finish, style, hardware and construction could date to the last quarter of the 18th century. However, traditions died harder in the back country where early designs and cabinet making techniques lasted sometimes for many decades after more coastal locations had changed practices and styles. This stylish chest is believed to have been made circa 1810-1825. Included in this lot are a detailed history and map of the “Willows” and the families that occupied it, compiled by Dr. A. W. Johnson, who owned the estate at the time of the auction. A note from George Shumway and a letter from Jim Kiser, KRA, with chest history. CONDITION: Rodent damage to top right, front of case (2”x2”) as well as minor chewing on the lid above. Inside chewing damage to middle drawer on both sides (1 1/2”x2 1/2”). Rodents chewed away corner of left rear of the right drawer. Right rear of exterior case above turned foot is damaged (2”x1 1/4”). Minor assorted chewing throughout interior drawers. PROVENANCE: George Shumway; "Steel Canvas, the Art of American Arms" by R. L. Wilson, 1995, page 50. DRG

This is not a standard shippable item and will require 3rd party shipping or pickup arrangements to be made.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,600.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $6,250.00
Estimate: $5,000 - $15,000
Number Bids: 14
Auction closed on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
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