Thursday, August 17, 2017

Knife by Unknown Maker with Sheath by Fisher

Well made knife. Brass ferrule. Iron pommel cap. The knife measures 9.5 inches overall with a 5 inch blade. The sheath is beautifully made and is marked with a fish and an F. Fine stitching. $200. plus $10. shipping in the continental USA.

Contact for more information.

Photos by Jan Riser.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hand Made Lock by Eric von Aschwege at Colonial Williamsburg

Inspired by early Germanic American gun locks, this lock began life as a piece of 19th century bridge iron, and piece by piece was forged to shape and filed to final fit.  All of the parts except for the springs are wrought iron (the grain still visible in the lockplate).  The springs were forged from 1084, which is our best estimate as to what 18th century tool steel may have been similar to.  The frizzen, typically referred to as a steel or battery in period texts, is also wrought, as study has shown many originals to have been forged of iron, and deeply case hardened for outstanding sparking.  

 It is difficult to estimate time in the Williamsburg gun shop, but this lock took approximately 5 months of shop time, including engaging with guests and making other small side projects.  This will go on one of the next rifles to emerge from the Colonial Williamsburg gun shop.

Copy and photos supplied by Eric von Aschwege at Colonial Williamsburg.

James Rogers - 18th Century Sporting Reproductions and Creations

This is a newly designed product for 2017. Early 18th century painter Enoch Seeman was kind enough to leave yet another beautiful painting for me to appreciate depicting a sporting gentleman with a belt bag. This one is unique for us today as it is a double bag but incorporating the main flap as the second pocket. This is a common feature on many bag styles dating as far back as the medieval period.
There has been recent conversation about double bags in the 18th century and some have speculated that a bag in the 1744 painting of Sir Edward Hales by Mercier is a double as we commonly know them. I suggest that the bag in that painting is possibly the same general construction as the bag depicted here.
My version of the Seeman belt bag (I will call this the Seeman Double Waiste Bag as I adapted the design of another belt pouch from a different Seeman painting many years ago) pictured here is fully leather lined and edge bound. I lowered the button location in the foremost flap from that of the painting for better access to the flap pocket. The waistbelt has a die forged iron buckle and both fixed and running keepers. The strap end has been left unpunched and can be custom fitted to the new owner on site at the Contemporary Longrifle Show this coming weekend or prior to post shipment.

Copy and photos supplied by James Rogers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: New York Map Horn by Steve Lodding and H. David Wright

Steve Lodding and H. David Wright have teamed up to create a spectacular engraved powder horn inspired by an original in a private collection.  The antique French and Indian War period New York map horn, attributed to the "Pointed Tree" carver contains a base plug that was uniquely painted with a scene of a gentleman hunting birds over his dog. 

Lodding, who made and engraved the horn, used features of the "Pointed Tree" carver for this horn. Wright painted the plug.  

Steve started with a raw horn; 16 inches in length was donated by noted horn maker, Tom Bowen (American Tradition, July 2011).  The completed horn with a 3 inch base plug features a paneled throat and decorative raised rings. The horn surface is completely covered with engraving of a map depicting New York to Lake Ontario including military outposts, waterways, cities, and towns of the mid 1700's.  Interspersed throughout are charming folk art images such as marching soldiers, windmills, ships, pointed trees, several deer, and a dog chasing and a hunter shooting a deer.  A fine rendition of British coat of arms also adorns the horn. A cartouche is included, as were on horns during the 18th century and it has been left blank for a future owner to have his or her name engraved. To create even more interest and artistic appeal, Steve polychromed the engraving with red and green colors as were some of the very best map horns of the period, and then aged it with a patina to give it a warm pleasing look of an old horn.  

Multi talented gun maker, horner, and all around talented artist, Steve Lodding has been a long time member of the CLA.  This is his third work of art he has created and donated to the CLF Funding Raising Auctions. 

Artist H. David Wright painted the base plug. Using oil paint such as was used on the original wood plug, Wright set about to copy the art as closely as he could - and also to recreate the aged look of the old painted plug. While examining the original plug, he found, through deterioration and chipped areas of the paint, it had been underpainted with a white base coat – oil paint, or possibly a gesso medium. So, to achieve the same appearance of the painted art, he used white gesso as an underpainting medium and painted over that with oils - adding the glazes and chipped off areas of the paint to replicate the age on the plug. To find a scene painted on an antique powder horn plug is rare, indeed - let alone one of a hunting scene which is very reminiscent of English works. A plug with a painted scene of a hunter makes this powder horn an even more unique contribution to this year's Live Auction. 

Steve Lodding (
H. David Wright (

H. David Wright is a charter member of the CLA and this is his third contribution to the CLF auctions. 

Text by D Wright

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Flat Powder Horn by Ron Vail

Horn is 7.5 inches on the outside curve. $55. plus $15. shipping in the continental USA. Can be picked up at the CLA Show in August.

Contact for more information.

Photos by Jan Riser.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

2017 CLF Auction Item: Rifle by James Frost

The early history of the rifle in America is always fascinating and problematic.  We know that rifles were in use on the frontier prior to the French and Indian War. John Fraser mentioned the loss of seven “rifled guns’ at the Battle of Fort Necessity.  Even earlier, in 1743, the trader John Armstrong stole a “rifled gun” and a horse from a Delaware Indian.  Armstrong’s murder when the Delaware caught up with him is recorded in the Pennsylvania Archives.

Who these early gunsmith’s were and what their rifles looked like is primarily an area of conjecture. The known dated early rifles tap out around 1760. Some rifles may be earlier but they are not dated. And early rifles are seldom signed or even initialed. There are a few gunsmiths that reliable documentation suggests were active before 1755. Jacob Dubbs is one of these gunsmiths and so is John Fraser who appears to have apprenticed to Dubbs. Dubbs worked in the Lehigh Valley and a rifle in Rifles of Colonial America is now attributed to him. This is rifle number 59, a rifle with a number of early characteristics.

CLA artist James Frost has created a rifle, loosely based on RCA number 59 and some other early guns from Lehigh and Northampton to Berks and Lebanon. John Bivins noted in 1968 in Longrifles of North Carolina “‘The early rifle, dating before the end of the revolution, tended strongly to exemplify strongly the simplicity of the so-called Queen Anne period. . .”
This rifle captures that spirit which Blevins called “a subtlety of curve and a certain haughty simplicity.”

This gun uses simple but elegant architecture set off by the striking piece of curly maple.  James has used engraved brass castings for the furniture in the manner of the engraved castings that were imported from Europe by early gunsmiths. He also used a cast chevron nose cap. These contribute a tough of flash to the clean simple architecture.   This rifle has a 38" swamped B weight  Colerain barrel, in  50 caliber.  It has a nice balance with the heft of an early rifle.

James Frost has been making rifles for over 30 years and the workmanship and fit on this rifle is flawless.  Ray Franks of Sitting Fox Muzzleloaders graciously donated the components for this auction rifle.

James Frost’s contact information is

Text by Heinz Ahlers

Photos by Heinz Ahlers and David Wright