FINE & IMPORTANT 18TH CENTURY MORAVIAN “SMOOTH RIFLE”.
inv # 01-17855
This wonderful, artistically carved & engraved long gun is pictured & described on pages 136-144 of “Moravian Gun Making of the American Revolution”, published by the Kentucky Rifle Foundation. Today we call smooth bore long rifles “Fowlers”, but the 18th century term was “smooth rifles”, such as this with octagonal to round barrel with fixed rear sight & brass blade front sight. Tapered & beveled engraved lock has well sculpted goose neck serpentine cock, bridled frizzen with iron pan. Brass furniture & silver oval thumb plate with script initials. Though this gun is not known as to maker, its quality ranks it among the best, highly skilled Moravian gun smiths, such as Christian Oerter & Andreas Albrecht.
This is among the most elegant & well preserved of any Moravian long arm. Exceptional relief & incised carving, as can be seen in photos. “Carver of this gun certainly understood the artistic aspect … has a toe plate of the same kind used on both the attributed Albrecht & the signed Oerter rifles… This fowler, without a patchbox – wood or brass- & an octagonal rifled barrel exhibits a high quality of craftsmanship, design & artistic aesthetics, all of this are associated with the Moravians work. In a religious order such as the Moravians, bringing beauty into the utilitarian tools of life was a way to show their appreciation to God for their “God-given” skills, and also to bring out “the best” as evidenced by their final products”.