xxHOLDxx. REVOLUTIONARY WAR PERIOD BUCK & BALL RIFLE
Attributed to George Frederick Fainot, Lancaster Borough
**HOLD**Rev War period "buck and ball" rifle attributed to George Frederick Fainot. Fainot was a French Hueguenot immigrant to America who first settled in the Hudson River valley and then emmigrated to Lancaster County Pennsylvania where he is listed as a gunsmith from 1779 until his death in 1803. While this rifle was found in Berks County Pennsylvania and had been attributed to Berks County, I believe the evidence suggests that it is a product of Fainot working in Lancaster County. Its brass hardware has unmistakable similarities to signed Fainot pieces, which include the sideplate, the triggerguard, and the buttplate. In addition, Fainot rifles typically are smoothbore with no cheekpiece and a rounded bottom surface of the butt, unlike other early riflemakers who squared off the lower butt surgace. This piece has a very early two piece brass patchbox with a fleur de lis finial which matches the finial on the triggerguard and reflects Fainot's French heritage. The fleur de lis is an earlier feature of weaponry than the acorn finial and reflects this rifle's Rev War period date. The rifle measures 64 inches overall with a long 48 1/2 inch barrel and has a full tiger maple stock. The .50cal smoothbore round hook breech barrel is thick walled (3/16" thickness) reflecting its "buck and ball" usage. The barrel is fastened to the stock with four iron barrel keys each with silver escutcheons on either side. The early features, which allow dating this rifle to the Revolutionary War period are: 1) wide 1 15/16" butt; 2) early fleur de lis finial on the triggerguard; 3) wide (1 1/4 inches) triggerguard bow; 4) early original flintlock with an unmarked convex plate and an internal frizzen spring screw. There is an inlayed silver escutcheon plate on top of the wrist which is engraved with the scrolled initials "A L" and is bordered dwith an elaborate engrailing. The initials are probably the original owner's. **HOLD**
Condition; Excellent, "in the black" rifle with no repairs or restoration. It is original flint. Rev War rifles in this untouched, excellent condition are indeed rare.