Thursday, July 20, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: Rifle and Hunting Bag with Knife by Josh Wrightsmant and Gary Tingler

The pre revolutionary frontier, west of the great wagon road was an exciting place, from the Allegheny River country down through western Virginia and the Carolinas.  The Frontiersman were learning their trade and the skills that would take them across the continent.  One of their primary tools was the American longrifle and one of the cradles of longrifle development was Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  

Josh Wrightsmant and Gary Tingler have created an early frontier rifle and hunting bag with knife for the auction.  The rifle is an early Lancaster, late transition style, with a 38" swamped B weight. 50 cal barrel. Josh cast the trigger guard and sideplate. He also made the ramrod thimbles and trigger.  Josh hand forged the lock and tang bolts and made the front and rear sights. The rifle has a tapered hickory ramrod with rolled sheet metal tip. Josh fabricated all the patchbox release parts.  The buttplate, patchbox and large Siler lock were purchased.  The sugar maple stock is incised and relief carved. The stock was scraped and burnished, stained with nitrate of iron and hand rubbed with aged linseed oil.  All the hardware, the barrel and the lock have been aged with ammonia, vinegar and saltwater to give a well cared for but aged appearance.

Josh also made the very nice hand forged bag knife with bone handle and pewter bolster.  Gary Tingler contributed the excellent elk hide bag, hand sewn with waxed linen and with a nice edging and flap decoration.  The bag also has interior pockets and a Kris Polizzi hand woven strap.  Altogether this is a remarkable set, that just cries out to be used.  As the old saying goes, “it would do well to run the river with.”  It would be right at home on the Ohio, the Monongahela, or the Cumberland before the Revolution.

Josh said “I built the rifle to donate because I wanted to do my part in helping to preserve an important part of our history. I feel that the CLA/CLF is doing a great job at this. I want to thank them for giving me a chance to donate and help in educating and preserving such an important part of history.”

Josh Wrightsman’s contact information is

Gary Tingler’s email is

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: "I See It Too" by Andrew Knez

This great Andrew Knez painting was scheduled to be auctioned last year.  That did not happen.  Your auction Chairman was a bit remiss in the logistics also Andrew unfortunately was involved in a serious automobile accident on his way too the auction.  We deferred the auction of the painting off to this year.  We are happy to say Andrew has recovered nicely and should be at the auction this year. We have straightened out the logistics and the painting should also be there. Joshua Shepherd’s fine write-up from last year follows.

Attendees of the CLA’s live auctions are regularly treated to a stunning array of arms and accoutrements from some of the longrifle culture’s best artisans, but the bidders at the 2016 event will be afforded a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: the chance to own an original painting by noted frontier artist Andrew Knez Jr.

The oil-on-canvas masterwork, titled I See It Too, depicts a mounted frontiersman gripping a longrifle balanced across the pommel of his saddle; more than that, it’s a truly exceptional depiction of the frontier character.  Both horse and rider have clearly seen something on the trail that demands their attention - perhaps game, smoke, or Indians – but the artist has lent the painting a bit of edgy mystique.  The rifleman and his mount are obviously intent on something”, says the artist, but it’s not life or death yet.  I like to leave a little bit to the imagination of the viewer.”
The remarkable canvas constitutes one of the showcase offerings for this year’s auction and is sure to attract a good bit of appropriate attention from collectors.  We all need to support the CLA in whatever way is practical,” says Knez.  His donation of I See It Too is, observes the artist, is the most sensible way to raise funds” for a worthy cause: the continued vitality of the Contemporary Longrifle Association.    

Andrew is a member of the American Plains Artists, Artists of the American West and a signature member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society.

Andrew’s work may be viewed  at
You may contact Andrew at 724-969-3200.

Copy by Joshua Shepherd with photos by Gordon Barlow.

Monday, July 17, 2017

English Fowler by Ketland

cal. 0.680  
barrel 38 inch long

Photo supplied by Contemporary Makers' European Correspondent, Manfred Schmitz.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: Youth’s Rifle by Terry Methe

Young people on the frontier went about armed from an early age.  In  “Thoughts on Kentucky Rifle in the Golden Age” Joe Kindig Jr. shows a 30 inch barreled youth’s rifle he attributes to Wolfgang Haga.  This is an early gun with a brass box and raised carving.  Kindig also notes that he owned another boys rifle by Fredrick Zorger dated 1805 that was engraved and had a patchbox.  Nathan Boone related killing a deer with a rifle in 1793 when he was 12 years old.  He also stated he had a smaller “bird rifle" before that.  (We have what is very likely a copy of Nathan’s deer rifle in the auction donated by Ed Fish.)  So in addition to cut down, old muskets we know that some lucky young people received some classy purpose built firearms.

Terry Methe has made a grand style boy’s or girl’s smooth rifle for the auction.  This gun is 35 1/2 inches in overall length with a 23” barrel, 5/8 of an inch across the flats.  A 36 caliber, the gun is light and handy with a 11” length of pull.

The diminutive flintlock is one of this guns most striking features.  Carefully crafted in an English style, the lock is perfectly sized for the rifle, and it is lightning fast.

This smooth rifle has engraved brass furniture, raised carving on the highly figured maple stock and a nice patchbox. Terry Methe’s signature is engraved on the barrel. This nicely made rifle will probably make a life-long shooter out of some lucky young person.

Terry Methe’s contact information is 636 394 6865

Copy by Heinz Ahlers with photos by Ric Lambert

Friday, July 14, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: Powder Horn and Hunting Pouch by Tom and Sandy Greco

The successful colonial farmer, wealthy merchant or Virginia aristocrat, wanted his equipment to send a message about his social status.   A fine rifle or fowling piece would be accompanied by fine shooting bag and horn.  By the beginning of the French and Indian war rococo decoration and dark leather were very much in style.

Tom and Sandy Greco, repeat auction supporters, have created this refined and historically appropriate hunting set for this years auction.  The set is comprised of a belt pouch, 7 by 6 inches; a hunting bag, roughly 8 1/2 inches high and 8 inches wide: and a powder horn roughly 11 inches around the outside curve. 

The leather pieces are of cow hide, stained with vinegar stain, and lined with sueded  calf skin. It has brass buckles and tactsThe craftsmanship on both leather pieces is top quality, with gussets, welts, binding on the edges and lined flaps.  The flaps are decorated with with diamond pattern engraving and small brass tacks.  Both have brass buckles.  The top grain lined strap for the shooting bag with two brass buckles and D rings pairs perfectly with the bag. 

The powder horn is as elegant as they get.  Tom Greco’s carefully crafted horn is set off by a classic rococo leaf pattern designed and engraved by Shady Greco, who once  again demonstrates her mastery of 18th century art forms.  A panel is provided for the owner to place his name.  The horn has a separate strap, appropriate for a gentleman’s outfit, meticulously crafted and decorated with wooden beads.   The horn has subtle little touches like the woven cord securing the spout and the twist in the stable securing the front strap.

All the pieces are marked with the Greco fish and G touch mark.

Tom and Sandy Greco’s contact information:

Phone  773-744-5401

Copy by Heinz Ahlers with photo 1 R Lambert and other photos Heinz Ahlers

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Powder Horns from the Collection of Manfred Schmitz


Other horns by Scott Sibley, Art DeCamp, Harris Maupin, Ohio Valley Hornworks and Siegfried Mau

Photo supplied by Contemporary Makers' European Correspondent, Manfred Schmitz.