Significant Melchoir Fordney Signed "Golden Age" Kentucky Flintlock Rifle

Currency:USD Category:Antiques / Firearms & Armory Start Price:3,250.00 USD Estimated At:6,500.00 - 9,500.00 USD
Significant Melchoir Fordney Signed  Golden Age  Kentucky Flintlock Rifle
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"Golden Age" Kentucky Flintlock rifle with barrel signed by the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, gunmaker Melchoir Fordney (1807-1846). The rifle has the distinctive brass pierced engraved patch box used by Fordney and illustrated on pages 70 and 71 of "KENTUCKY RIFLES & PISTOLS" by James R. Johnson and pages 136 and 137 of "THE KENTUCKY RIFLE IN ITS GOLDEN AGE" by Joe Kindig. The rifle has an octagon barrel with dovetail mounted brass front sight blade and iron rear sight. The top of the barrel is signed "M FORDNEY" in script with a star-like figure engraved between the first initial and the last name. The barrel is double swamped which was difficult to manufacture in the 19th century. The rifle has a lock plate with rounded end, beveled edges, integral fenced iron pan and flat faced hammer. The lock plate is stamped with the maker's name "DREPPER" ahead of the hammer. The full length tiger striped maple stock has a rounded comb, curved butt and carved cheekrest. The wedge-fastened stock has a brass muzzle cap, three brass ramrod pipes, brass side plate and curved brass trigger guard with finger spur. The rifle has double set-triggers. There is single-line incised carving on the forearm and the lower edge of the butt. A simple single line floral design is carved on the left side of the butt behind the cheekrest. An engraved silver eight-pointed star is inlaid on the top of the cheekrest and an engraved oval silver thumb piece is inlaid in the stock wrist. The patch box, buttplate finial, trigger guard and side plate are all decorated with simple but well executed engraving. The rifle has a hickory ramrod with carved tip.
BBL: 42 3/4 inch octagon
Stock: maple
Gauge: 56
Finish: brown
Serial Number: NSN
Condition: Good. The barrel has a deep brown patina. The surface of the barrel is generally smooth with a few scattered patches of shallow pitting. The signature on the top of the barrel is sharp. The lock appears to be a professionally executed re-conversion. The patina on the lock plate matches the barrel perfectly and there is light-moderate pitting surrounding the flash hole. The stock is in very good condition with moderate handling wear and a deep, un-touched patina. The patch box and brass furniture are in very good condition with an attractive age patina. The engraving on the brass furniture and silver inlays is sharp. This is a very good example of a signed, "Golden Age" Kentucky rifle made by a well-known Lancaster, Pennsylvania gunmaker.