logo
Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
Log In
lots of lots
Lot 1557
This rifle, attributed to Andreas Albrecht, comes from an important private collection. The rifle is featured in a 10-page section on pages 87 through 96 of "Moravian Gunmaking II Bethlehem to Christian's Spring" by Robert Paul Lienemann and the Kentucky Rifle Foundation. The rifle is also pictured in the 1980 book "Rifles of Colonial America Volume I" by George Shumway as rifle number 43. According to "Moravian Gunmaking II", this rifle was purchased about 45 years ago at a small auction in northern New England and was found in its original flintlock configuration. The rifle is attributed to Moravian gunsmith Andreas Albrecht, who was born in Germany in 1718 and died in 1802 in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Albrecht came to America in 1749 and traveled to the Moravian town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he took over the Christian's Spring gunshop from 1750 to 1759. He worked between Bethlehem and Christian's Spring, alternating locations a couple times until 1766. In about 1771, Albrecht moved to the Moravian town of Lititz, Pennsylvania, to resume gunmaking full time, until his death in 1802. According to "Moravian Gunmaking II", this rifle dates to the 1750s or '60s, and the carving and lock moldings with beaver tails are nearly the same as those on the Edward Marshall rifle. However, the cataloger believes that this rifle could have been an early example made in Lititz, Pennsylvania as the carving and features relate more closely to the signed Albrecht rifle that was almost certainly made in Lititz. The "C"-scrolls, as well as the carving around the tang and ramrod entry ferrule show a Lancaster County influence. The rifle itself features a fully octagonal swamped rifled barrel, with a dovetailed brass front sight and an iron rear sight set to the back of the block. There is also an empty dovetail on the barrel tang, which was possibly for a second sight. The flat lock is a fine German lock with a detailed chiseled border, the front tang in the shape of a tombstone and an ornate frizzen spring fineal. The touchole has a gold liner. It is interesting to note that a number of rifles were stocked for employees or friends of Richard Shackleton, who operated a forge nearby, and in 1762, Jacob Starn owed a sum of money for "Stocking a gun in the best manner with a bullet mold". This is a very fine rifle with a high quality lock, a gold touchole liner, and it is fully carved. This information can be found on page 89 of "Moravian Rifles II". The two-piece brass patchbox is from a Baker rifle dating to the early 19th century. It was a later addition, put on during the rifle's period of use when the wooden patchbox lid was lost. This style of lid typically dates to after the period when this rifle was made. The other furniture on the rifle is also of cast brass and includes a slightly crescent buttplate with a tang in the Bethlehem or Christian's Spring style. The buttplate measures about 1 - 7/8" at the widest spot. The sideplate has beveled edges and three grooves, surrounded by lines on each side. The shape of the back shows Lancaster County influence. The trigger guard is in the Lehigh County style, being fastened at the back tang with a screw and in front of the bow is a lug with two relief arrows. The stock is of highly figured maple and shows Bethlehem and Christian's Spring influence in the form of the buttstock. There are relief carved panels terminating in teardrops around the lock cavity and the sideplate. There are relief carved stylized fluer-de-lis carved around the barrel tang and ramrod entry ferrule. There is a raised and molded cheek piece on the left side of buttstock carved with relief foliate "C"-scrolls on both sides. Below the cheek piece, there are two brass loops where there was once a touchole pick. Slightly above the cheek piece, there is a single brass tack and the initial "L" is carved into the buttstock. The early rifle has no toeplate. CONDITION: The barrel shows some edge wear and has been cleaned at some time. It now retains a spotted grey patina. The rifling shows heavy wear. The lock is in its original flintlock configuration, functions well, and has a grey spotted patina. The tip of the post on the cock is broken and absent, as it was when the rifle was found. The brass furniture has been cleaned and now retains a mellowing patina. The entry ferrule is original, but the other two thimbles are replacements, as well as the nose cap. The stock has had some additional finish added to it, and about 31" of the fore-end have been professionally replaced. There are some scattered marks from use and a minor chip on top near the tail of the lockplate. This rifle is in remarkable condition for its age. This is a rare opportunity to own a pre-Revolutionary War Moravian-made long rifle in its original flintlock configuration. Early rifles of this quality rarely come available publicly. Barrel Length: 42" Caliber/Bore: .58 Rifled FFL Status: Antique Manufacturer: Andreas Albrecht Model: Kentucky Rifle Serial Number: NSNCondition: Dimensions:

Buyer's Premium

  • 28%

(A) EARLY AND FINE MORAVIAN FLINTLOCK RIFLE ATTRIBUTED

Estimate $70,000 - $90,000Apr 24