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This a a rare Pennsylvania rifle by Jacob Kunz, one of the premier gun makers from theLehigh Valley region in Pennsylvania. He was born about 1780 or 1781 and becameinvolved in gunsmithing as a teenager. By the early 1800‘s he devoted most of his timeto rifles, especially the Kentucky longrifle. Around the War of 1812, he relocated toPhiladelphia and operated a gun shop there for about 65 years. His guns were knownfor their high quality, and he became one of Philadelphia’s most prominent gunmakers.He died in 1875 at the ripe old age of 95 and might have been one of the longest-livedearly American gunmakers.The rifle is a muzzleloading percussion cap rifle with two ramrods and double barrels, and itwas probably used for hunting or fowling. It’s an exceptional example of a KunzPennsylvania rifle.It’s a heavy gun, weighing 11.5 pounds.The barrel of a Kentucky rifle made by Kunz typically was 43 1/4 inches long and had acurly maple stock. The barrels here are 32 3/4 inches long and the overall length of therifle is 48 5/8 inches. There are two ramrods on either side of the barrels; the ramrod onthe right side is 31 1/4 inches long, the one on the left is 30 3/4 inches long.Both barrels are octagonal and sit one on top of the other, instead of side by side, so this type of gun is called an over-under gun, and the rifle has double-set triggers. The screws have floral decorations on the fittings around them and appear to be the original screws.The cock has floral decorations on it, and the patch box on the stock has elaborateengravings, too. The stock has a curved brass butt plate, and the left side has an inlaidsilver or metal star on the stock.The stock is made of maple and has a beautiful grain and patina. The wood also hascross-hatch engravings that show some light wear, and the wood also has a thin two inchcrack on the left side and a thin one-inch crack on the right side of the rifle, nearthe bottom of the butt plate. There don’t seem to be any repairs to the rifle.It’s also signed “J Kunz’ on the lock plate and “Philad” in two places: on the lock plateand on the underside of the barrel. (In his early days Kunz generally marked his gunswith his initials, and the rifle here is stamped with his name, which might help to date thepiece a bit more.) There’s modest pitting around Kunz’s name.The initials “BHH” or “BIIH” also appear in script on the brass plate that runs along thelength of the barrel, and they could possibly be the original owner’s initials.The current owner is in his 90’s and the gun was passed down to him by his father.Overall a museum-quality piece.

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Rare Pennsylvania Rifle by Jacob Kunz 1830's

Estimate $2,000 - $6,000Oct 28, 2018
6030 North Lockwood Ridge Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
United States
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