An important full-stock Pennsylvania flintlock rifle by Frederick Sell

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 3276ANTIQUE
An important full-stock Pennsylvania flintlock rifle by Frederick Sell
Littlestown School, circa 1810-20

Sold for US$ 25,740 inc. premium

For PR

An important full-stock Pennsylvania flintlock rifle by Frederick Sell
Littlestown School, circa 1810-20
Blued 42 1/2 inch octagonal barrel with eight-groove rifling in .50 caliber; brass fore-sight and open iron rear sight; breech inlaid with a 1 5/8 inch long brass plate with worn signature Fredrick Sell. Reconverted lock. Finely engraved brass patchbox with six piercings and C-scroll finial of characteristic form for this maker. Brass ramrod thimbles, fore-end cap, triggerguard, buttplate and engraved toe plate. Cheekpiece inlaid with oval silver plaque engraved with owner's name A.J. Barnes. Full striped maple stock; fore-end incised with two lines framing the ramrod trough and relief-carved with scrollwork below the lower thimble; buttstock finely relief-carved with scrollwork at the barrel tang, the left side of buttstock with scrolls in front of the cheekpiece, a scroll panel below it and behind it scrolls, shell forms and a blossom; the right side with incised and partial relief scrollwork panel in front of the patchbox. Top of wrist inlaid with vacant oval silver escutcheon, the sides with small rectangular silver plates. Behind the toe plate an oval mother-of-pearl plaque framing a button for the patchbox release, which is not functioning.
Condition: Fine to excellent. Barrel retains perhaps 30-40% original blue finish mixed with brown patina and showing some light pitting at breech. Touch hole bushed. Lock reconverted as noted above. Patchbox missing one screw. Some loss to face of fore-end cap. Wood generally very clean with crisp edges and carving and showing one 2 1/2 inch sliver missing to left side of fore-end, a replaced piece at the upper rear of lockplate, small chip below counterplate, repaired hairline cracks at right side of fore-end and rear of lockplate and with partial crack at the toe of the buttstock.
See Illustration

Footnotes

  • Note: This important and previously undocumented example of Sell's work was, by family history, purchased by the consignor's father in the 1920s and probably from Francis Bannerman & Company.
    Frederick Sell, 1781-1869, Littlestown, Pennsylvania, is widely regarded as one of the finest and most important of the Pennsylvania rifle makers. Son of the gunmaker Jacob Sell, and though apprenticed to his father, he evidently also worked as a journeyman with George Eister, John Lechner and Adam Ernst, as noted by Joe Kindig, Jr. in Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in it's Golden Age. These associations helped Sell refine his own designs and become, as Kindig asserts, one of the great masters of Kentucky rifle making. See pages 407-424 for a discussion of Sell and illustrations of his work and page 418 for images of a rifle that is nearly a pair with the present example.
Contacts
An important full-stock Pennsylvania flintlock rifle by Frederick Sell
An important full-stock Pennsylvania flintlock rifle by Frederick Sell
An important full-stock Pennsylvania flintlock rifle by Frederick Sell
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armour, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $25,000 of the hammer price;
26% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $25,000 up to and including $1,000,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $1,000,000 up to and including $6,000,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $6,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

If you have requested a shipping quote, we will send this to you via email within 5 business days of the auction ending.

Please note our shipping quotes are bespoke and require special care and handling from our team and shippers. Shipping will be booked after payment is received. Please allow 7-14 business days from the time of booking for packing and dispatch, depending on your chosen shipping method. If your purchase is time sensitive, or you wish to explore other options, please see our list of alternative third party shippers in New York and Los Angeles who may be able to assist you.

If you have any questions, please contact our Client Services team.

Lot symbols
ANTIQUE Antique - pre 1899

Handguns that fall outside the Section 5 authority will be labelled ANTIQUE.

App