Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Superb quality, pristine condition.

    Relief-Carved Pennsylvania Rifle by Iconic Bedford County Maker, William Defibaugh, Circa 1840. Signed in script "W. Defibaugh" on the top flat of the barrel with script "W. D." on the lock. Defibaugh is renowned as one of the finest makers from this school, that is known for their beautiful long, slender, rifles that exhibit exquisite quality workmanship, continuing the tradition of the Golden Age of rifle making, that had been abandoned by other schools, for strictly utilitarian rifles, in the 1830s. 59.5" overall with 44.5" octagonal barrel, 0.875" across the flats. .36 caliber deeply rifled bore, perfect. The barrel displays a smooth deep brown patina mixing with the original acid brown finish, just some very minor surface rust at the breech, negligible. The long slender original percussion lock with distinctive hammer, unique to this school perfect with line engraved decoration in addition to Defibaugh's initials. Silver blade front sight with brass base base surrounded by punch decoration. Intricate V notch rear sight. Adjustable double set triggers, the nipple is missing. All brass furniture with embryonic bird engraved on the side plate, narrow trigger guard with molded details, brass wedges (one missing) and long ramrod ferrules, with long flared tail on the lower pipe. 6" long toe plate with engraved line decoration around the screws. 2.25 " closed end nose cap. Beautiful patchbox, also typical of this school, with embryonic bird engraved on the lid, five piercings, and floral rosettes engraved around the screw heads. All brass furniture perfect with nice mellow patina. The lock and sideplate are both set on relief carved panels which extend on to the forestock and the wrist, with teardrop shaped silver inlays on the wrist extensions. There is also an oval silver wrist escutcheon and a beautiful 1.125" x 2.25" oval silver inlay on the cheekpiece engraved with a primitive spread wing eagle and American shield. The wood is superb. The maple retaining the original artificial grain, except in the areas where it has worn away from honest use. A. number of areas, most notably on the relief carved cheek side, still retain the original dried, crazed, varnish. Deep relief tendril-like carving behind the cheek piece with scrolls forward of the cheek piece. There is a relief carved panel beneath the cheekpiece with decorative gouge carving, and relief molding along the bottom edge of the buttstock. Forestock with deep carved molding along the ramrod channel with additional incised line decoration above, ending in curls at the lower pipe. Wood in remarkable untouched condition with just one small sliver on the left side of the forestock at the nose cap. A magnificent and very rare rifle for both quality and condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 7,591

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 May 2 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search