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    Description

    Pictured in Rifles of Colonial America, Volume II by George Shumway and Kentucky Rifles & Pistols 1750-1850

    Important Relief Carved Pre-Revolutionary War Flintlock Kentucky Rifle by John Philip Beck.

    Just as Catalog #117 from Norm Flayderman states, Superb, Important and Rare 18th Century American Kentucky Rifle. Approximately .57 caliber, 47 1/4-inch octagonal to round barrel with straight rifling. Front sight inset on solid silver heart shaped plate. Overall length of the gun is 63 1/2-inches. Top of barrel signed J P BECK [faint]. Note: Unique single set trigger [push forward to set]. Early flat lock with vertical rear flutes. Classic 18th century type maple Fullstock with just slight tiger stripe grain. Relief carved scroll design, incised carvings on each side of comb and thimble. Light relief carving at tang. 8 pointed silver star inlay on cheekrest. Early form brass furniture typical of Beck's work according to Flayderman's catalog. Finials of t.g. & butt are in Fleur De Lis designs, Torch-like finial on sideplate. The four-piece brass patchbox is quite exceptional, fancy edge with finial, lid engraved with daisy motifs and script PJ. Flayderman's goes on to say, "A similar Beck rifle illus/discussed in LANCASTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY Journal (copy to purchaser). Beck's work is prominently mentioned in every important book about Kentucky rifles. Significant Americana."
    Note: Research and accompanying documents state, this is the exact gun on pages 430-433 in Rifles of Colonial America. It is also the same gun on page 85 in Kentucky Rifles & Pistols 1750-1850. According to Rifles in Colonial America, John Philip Beck was born in 1751 and began his outstanding career as a gunsmith in 1772 or 1773. From 1777 until his death in 1811 he lived and worked in the town of Lebanon about 22 miles north of Lancaster. George Shumway also mentions this rifle here to be "one of earliest, if not the earliest, surviving examples of his work". Documents and paperwork included are; 1) Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society [article on similar Beck]. 2) Antique Collecting Magazine from 1978 [article on similar Beck rifle]. 3) Photocopies of Rifles of Colonial America, Volume II by George Shumway and Kentucky Rifles & Pistols 1750-1850 [both have this actual gun pictured and written about]. 4) N. Flayderman & Co. Inc. Catalog No. 117, with actual gun for sale, lot 1887. 5) Cashiers check copy of previous owner for payment of JP Beck Flintlock to N. Flayderman & Co. on 11-9-1993 for $15,000 along with a order form. 6) Handwritten 2-page letter to Norm Flayderman discussing the Beck, appears to be from previous owner who either consigned or sold the gun to Flayderman, signed Steve. All in all, an incredible gun with great history and provenance. As Flayderman's catalog mentions, "a mkr commonly known as the REMBRANDT OF KENTUCKY RIFLEMAKERS"
    Provenance:
    Stephen D. Hench Collection.
    Norm Flayderman Catalog No. 117.
    Robert W. Gruebel Collection.
    Private Collection.

    Condition: Very good for its age. Metal very good, for its period with a dark and deep brown patina overall. Barrel cleaned to find signature at some point. Fair to moderate age wear and handling to wood. Flayderman mentions some "fine" professional restoration to FL [flintlock]. He also mentions "difficult to detect even for the discerning eye." He also mentions regarding the stock, "the deep pronounced stripings came later." Wood incised and carvings, worn smooth. with handling wear. JHB carved on stock. Has old repaired crack at wrist, Flayderman mentions "impossible to detect except on closest scrutiny". A few small repaired pieces on forestock. Toeplate expertly restored. Marred screws. Overall gun is in very good to fine condition for its age and use. Brass furniture with handling wear, fine scratches and some bumps/mars. In general, the overall bumps and mars throughout do not detract from this historical artifact. Hammer does not stay cocked. Bore is good.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2019
    9th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,861

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