Rifle (Flintlock rifle)

  • Category:

    Weapons, Hunting, and Fishing

  • Creator (Role):

    John Schreit (Probable maker)

  • Place of Origin:

    Reading, Berks, Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

  • Date:

    1761

  • Materials:

    Iron; Maple; Brass; Steel; Leather; Flint

  • Techniques:

    Carved, Hammered

  • Museum Object Number:

    2019.0042.001


  • Complete Details



Object Number

2019.0042.001

Object Name

Rifle (Flintlock rifle)

Category

Weapons, Hunting, and Fishing

Credit Line/Donor

Gift of Rocky Hill Collection

Creator (Role)

John Schreit (Probable maker)
1730

Place of Origin

Reading, Berks, Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

Date

1761

Mark or Signature or Inscription or Label

1. Signature; Barrel, upper surface; "JOH SCHREIT 1761" engraved

Materials

Iron; Maple; Brass; Steel; Leather; Flint

Techniques

Carved, Hammered

Dimensions (inches)

5 (H) , 58.5 (L) , 2.75 (W)

Dimensions (centimeters)

12.7 (H) , 148.59 (L) , 6.985 (W)

Measurement Notes

Height and width are of butt. Barrel length is 43 5/16 inches long; .60 caliber with seven grooves. Lockplate length 5 11/16 inches. [Per George Shumway]

Object Description

Web -

This flintlock rifle with its long barrel and ornamentally carved stock is an early example of the hybrid design that came to be known as the Kentucky rifle. The rifleā€™s distinctive features include low-relief carving and incised scrolls, a straight comb and straight butt plate, and a channel-set wooden patch box cover If the engraved date is to the time of manufacture rather than commemorative, it is possibly the earliest dated Kentucky rifle to survive. The barrel is engraved with the name of a Reading, Pennsylvania gunsmith, John Shreit/Schreidt who likely apprenticed in Philadelphia, and by 1758 moved north to establish his workshop in Reading. This rifle has been modified and repaired, but retains its mystique as a true exemplar of the design leading to the ornate rifles of America's young republic era. The Kentucky style long rifle is recognized by a lightweight, low caliber rifled barrel often with an artistically carved stock, a raking curved wrist and inward curved butt. Beginning in the mid-eighteenth century, the gun blended elements from southern Germanic and English firearms for a highly accurate longer range rifle. Pennsylvania gunsmiths, many of Germanic and Swiss origin, hybridized and popularized the rifle for hunters, later for use in warfare, and they were produced in several different states by the early 1800s.

Bibliography and Bibliographic Notes

[Catalogue] Garvan, Beatrice B. & Hummel, Charles F. 1982 The Pennsylvania Germans: a celebration of their arts, 1683-1850. An exhibition organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum.
Published: pp. 82-83 plate 57 and pp. 93-94.182
[Book] Shumway, George. 1995 Rifles of Colonial America. Vol. 1.
Published: pp. 84-89, No. 18; biography p. 83
[Book] Hornberger, Patrick. 2009 Berks County Longrifles & Gunmakers 1750-1900. 103.
Published: p. 36, No. 2