EXTREMELY RARE EARLY GOLDEN AGE JOHN RUPP SIGNED KENTUCKY RIFLE.
Overall length 58 1/2″.
This rifle is pictured in the 1941 text “Forgotten Heritage; The Story of the People and the Early American Rifle” by Harry Davis. Davis’ text shows very few photographs of guns, but he does show several of the rarest golden age examples. At the time of publication, this was the only example known: “A very narrow wrist which is broader than it is deep. The architecture of this piece is so unusual that connoisseurs and students of the “Kentucky” Rifle who have viewed this piece have been unanimous in their conclusion that there is none other which is quite like the John Rupp. This is the only specimen of his work known to the author. This is without doubt one of the very earliest and most authentic “Kentucky” Rifles in existence.” Indeed, this is a rare survivor that Joe Kindig in his text on golden age Kentucky rifles states “undoubtedly” “made in the pre-revolutionary period”.
This example is virtually identical to the Kindig gun with profuse incised carving with the carved Indian head forward of trigger guard characteristic of some early LeHigh area makers. Brass mounted with finely engraved two piece figural patch box One difference between Kindig gun and this example is the shape of the sideplate where this example terminates with a figural arrowhead much like that of Herman Rupp.
PROVENANCE: Herman Dean collection; William G. Crews; Dr. Howard Engle collection.