Kentucky Rifle 18th Century Christian's Spring Influenced

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Attributed to Peter Neihart

This is a beautiful "in the black", recently discovered early incise carved Kentucky rifle with many features indicating late 18th century production possibly in the Christian's Spring Moravian gunshop, .  The carving designs closely match the carving on known Andreas Albrecht rifles during his Christian's Springs tenure (see pics).  However, carving design and other details are nearly identical to rifles both signed and attributed to Peter Neihart.  For example, this rifle is a close match to the rifle pictured on Pg. 3 in Jim Johnston's "Kentucky Rifles & Pistols 1750-1850".  The sideplate of this rifle is nearly identical in design and detail to the signed and dated Neihart rifle on Pg. 1 of Johnston's book as well as the attributed Neihart rifle on Pg. 4 of the same book.  I believe this rifle falls in date after the 1787 dated and signed rifle but is earlier than the rifle pictured on Pg. 4.  This rifle shows many early features such as a wide (1 3/4") flat butt and an early triggerguard design usually found on early Jaeger rifles such as the trigger loop being open to the grip rail (see pics).  However, it has a fully developed stock design found on rifles of the Lehigh Valley, made by Herman and John Rupp, the early John Moll as well as Peter Neihart.  Fully developed design features include a "roman nose" and stepped wrist as well as a slender wrist which is wider than it is tall, a "sheathed" heel return, and an open nose cap.  The stock is dry and in the black. The octagon to round rifle barrel is .54 cal. and measures 43 1/2 inches with the rifle measuring just over 59 inches. The brass mountings have not been touched and are "in the green".  There are a couple of slivers missing on the forestock.  Just a great important Christian's Spring influenced rifle attributed to Neihart.  The last three pics show pages from Robert Lienemann's excellent book "Moravian Gunmaking II",Pgs. 97-100, showing an Andreas Albrecht rifle formerly located in Rochester NY museum (whose whereabouts have sadly been lost to history), but the carving design and detail are obviously associated with this rifle.

Condition:  As found, in the black.  Some wood slivers missing on the forestock.  The flintlock has been masterfully reconverted back to flint and the wooden patchbox lid has been restored, otherwise untouched. 

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