PERCUSSION PISTOL BY JACOB KUNZ, PRESTIGIOUS PENNSYLVANIA AND PHILADELPHIA GUNSMITH

$7,500.00
Originally $8,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 401-53

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
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This is seldom offered chance to acquire a piece by a renowned Pennsylvania gunsmith. Jacob Kunz (or Kuntz, early on) was a highly regarded, long-lived, and needs no introduction to Pennsylvania rifle collectors, having examples of his work in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Winterthur. Born in 1780 and raised in the Allentown area he was a member of an extended gunsmithing family that included brother Peter, cousin David Kuntz, and in-laws Peter Newhard and John Moll (II,) under whom he likely worked and learned his trade. He was taxed as a gunsmith as early as 1807 in Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, and is considered part of the Northhampton/Lehigh School. He moved to Philadelphia in or about 1810, married in 1812, had five children, and lived to age 95, dying in 1876, and was interred at Allentown.

This is a nice example of a Kunz pistol, made about 1830, with an imported English percussion lock stamped “LONDON / WARRANTED” on the lower edge and using a .53 caliber, 8-inch barrel going octagonal to round with short notches to the barrel edges and a knurled ring at the transition to round. The top flat at rear is engraved J. KUNZ. The rounded blade front sight is in place with 16 starburst rays jutting out around it, straight rays alternating with jagged thunderbolts. The lockplate, bolster and hammer are all floral engraved and the lock is secured on the counterpane by a single screw with floral engraved head and round, brass washer. The breechplug tang is engraved to match.

The barrel is secured by two wedges with plain German silver escutcheon plates: the rear, a scalloped rectangle and the front, oval. The ramrod is secured by a rear entry pipe with cursory nesting flowers, slightly rounder versions of the ones running up the side of the hammer, and a short forward pipe, both brass. The brass triggerguard with grip strap and finial is floral engraved on the bottom of the bow and on the neoclassical urn/pineapple-shaped finial. The wood has a pleasing, warm brown tone and finish, with a good fit and edges, and some minor handling marks. There is a very small chip out on the lower edge of the lock apron, below the hammer, and a small one at the upper edge. The metal is smooth, with an overall mix of some faint, thin blue, a few gray spots and some muted silver. The only defect is four very small nicks to the left edge of the top flat just forward of Kunz’s name. The ramrod is correct and looks good, but like most, is likely an old replacement.

Examples of Kunz’s work are highly sought after.  [sr] [ph:M]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire.

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