Author Topic: Sell, F. 101221-1  (Read 8135 times)

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Sell, F. 101221-1
« on: January 04, 2011, 06:06:43 PM »


This Sell rifle, probably Frederick's work, really highlights his carving. The lack of other decorative mountings sets the carving off, and clearly shows how effective he was as a carver in design, coverage and flow. Despite not being highly detailed carving, the main elements are typical Sell and stand out clearly in this piece. Great architecture as well.

While the current percussion lock might not be the original one, I would suggest this gun was made as a percussion rifle in the mid-1830s. The side plate has a wood screw in the front bolt position, the trigger doesn't have the usually large scroll at its tip,the guard's grip rail is pretty close to the stock wood, and there is no carved "tear drops" behind the side facings... although some late flint Sell rifles did not have the tear drop detail. The plain stock wood and single trigger make me wonder if this was made as a "buck and ball" gun.

Despite the lack of a patchbox or inlay work, the gun clearly shows that the Sells were master stockers and carvers. This is a good example of their work for the museum, that appears (although we can't see the forestock) to be unrestored and all original surfaces. 

I agree that this is the work of Frederick Sell.  Even without a patchbox, it is a nicely carved rifle that will make a good addition to the library.  One other thought on the lock however.  I don't think it was originally made as a percussion rifle.  It appears to me that when the rifle was converted to percussion from flint, the original lock was replaced by a percussion lock and the front screw hole on the original side plate could have had a wood screw added to fill the hole.  I guess the only way to tell for sure would be to have the gun in hand and remove the lock.  Without that capability, it's all just speculation.
Nice, carved, Sell smooth rifle in 'as found' condition. The foregoing comments describe the piece quite well, and I am in agreement with the reviewers.

A nice, honest looking Sell rifle, to be sure.  Obviously not the original lock, but that is a rather minor detail. It's pretty hard to determine at this point, whether it started life as flint or percussion.  It definitely belongs in the Library.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 10:56:40 PM by Dennis Glazener »
In Memory of Lt. Catherine Hauptman Miller 6/1/21 - 10/1/00 & Capt. Raymond A. Miller 12/26/13 - 5/15/03...  They served proudly.