Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Flintlock Rifle

Gunsmith:
Jacob Kuntz (American, Allentown, Pennsylvania 1780–1876 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Date:
ca. 1810–15
Geography:
Pennsylvania
Culture:
American, Pennsylvania
Medium:
Steel, brass, wood (maple), silver, bone, horn
Dimensions:
L. 59 1/4 in. (150.5 cm); L. of barrel 43 in. (109.22 cm); Cal. .46 in. (11.7 mm); Wt. 9 lb. 13 oz. (4451 g)
Classification:
Firearms-Guns-Flintlock
Credit Line:
Gift of Wilfrid Wood, 1956
Accession Number:
42.22
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 372
This is a classic example of a Pennsylvania longrifle, a uniquely American type of firearm popularly known as a Kentucky rifle. It was probably made around the time that Kuntz moved from Northampton County, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphia. The restrained Rococo carving of the wood and the confident treatment of the engraved brass demonstrate the skills that distinguish Kuntz as one of the finest gunmakers of the period.
Signature: Signed on the lock in stylized script: JK; on the barrel: J. Kuntz.
Ex. coll.: Wilfrid Wood.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Rococo 1750–1775: Eighteenth Century Elegance in Ornament," January 26–May 17, 1992, no. 7.

Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "American Rococo 1750–1775: Eighteenth Century Elegance in Ornament," July 5–September 27, 1992.

Dillin, John G. W., and Kendrick Scofield. The Kentucky Rifle: A Study of the Origin and Development of a Purely American Type of Firearm, Together with Accurate Historical Data Concerning Early Colonial Gunsmiths, and Profusely Illustrated with Photographic Reproduction of Their Finest Work. Washington, D.C.: National Rifle Association of America, 1924. pl. 85, no. 2.

Gardner, Robert Edward. Arms Fabricators Ancient and Modern: A Compilation of the Names and Dates of Gunsmiths, Bladesmiths, Armourers.... Columbus, Ohio: F.J. Heer, 1934. p. 53 (lists a J or I Kunz of Philadelphia, also a P. Kunz who was a Pennsylvania gunsmith during the Revolution).

Dillin, John G. W., Kendrick Scofield, and George N. Hyátt. The Kentucky Rifle: A Study of the Origin and Development of a Purely American Type of Firearm, Together with Accurate Historical Data Concerning Early Colonial Gunsmiths, and Profusely Illustrated with Photographic Reproduction of Their Finest Work. 3rd ed. ed. New York: Ludlum and Beebe, 1946. pl. 85, no. 2.

Grancsay, Stephen V. American Engraved Powder Horns: A Study Based on the J. H. Grenville Gilbert Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1946. pl. 7, fig. 1.

Grancsay, Stephen V. "The Craft of the Early American Gunsmith." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (October 1947). p. 54, ill.

Dillin, John G. W. The Kentucky Rifle: A Study of the Origin and Development of a Purely American Type of Firearm, Together with Accurate Historical Data Concerning Early Colonial Gunsmiths, and Profusely Illustrated with Photographic Reproduction of Their Finest Work. 4th ed. ed. York, Pa.: Trimmer Printing, 1959. pl. 85, no. 2.

Kauffman, Henry J. The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle. New York: Bonanza Books, 1960. p. 279.

Kauffman, Henry J. The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle. Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Co., 1960. p. 279.

Peterson, Harold L. The Treasury of the Gun. New York: Golden Press, 1962. p. 144, ill. (as "late Kentucky rifle, 1810–1820").

Grancsay, Stephen V. American Engraved Powder Horns: A Study Based on the J. H. Grenville Gilbert Collection. 2nd ed. ed. Philadelphia: Ray Riling Arms Books Co., 1965. pl. 7, fig. 1.

Shumway, George. Pennsylvania Longrifles of Note. 2nd ed. ed. York, Pa.: George Shumway, 1977. pp. 8–9 (flintlock rifle signed JK, attributed to Jacob Kuntz; short biography given).

Sellers, Frank M. American Gunsmiths: A Source Book : a Comprehensive Listing of the American Gun Maker, Patentee, Gunsmith, and Entrepreneur. Highland Park, N.J.: Gun Room Press, 1983. p. 176.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor From the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer 1991). pp. 47, 64, ill.

Heckscher, Morrison, and Leslie Greene Bowman. American Rococo, 1750–1775: Elegance in Ornament.. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. pp. 10, 12, 264, no. 7, ill.

Wilson, R. L. The Peacemakers: Arms and Adventure in the American West. New York: Random House, 1992. p. 36 (a percussion over-and-under rifle by J. Kunz of Philadelphia).

Kafka, Lorentz. "The Romance of the Kentucky Rifle." Early American Life 40, no. 2 (April 2009). pp. 8–19, ill.



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