6/8/2022 – Frontier Firearms from the Lifetime Collection of Larry Ness

Arms, Armor & Militaria | Lot 157

  • June 8, 2022
  • 10:06 AM EDT
  • Cincinnati


Heavy Barrel Percussion Plains Rifle by Wurfflein

.54 caliber. 34.5″ heavy octagonal barrel secured by two keys. SN: 64. Browned finish, German silver furniture, walnut half stock with checkered wrist. Commercial back action single screw percussion lock lightly engraved with game scenes and marked “H ELWELL/WARRANTED”. Barrel marked “J WURFFLEIN PHILADA”. Right side flat of barrel marked “64″ forward of bolster. Traditional “Plains Rifle” styling and construction with heavy barrel measuring 1.2″ across the flats at the muzzle, with extended double-screw iron breech tang, double keyed half-stock, double set triggers, Rocky Mountain pattern buckhorn rear and German silver blade front sights. The gun is in many ways a more attractive interpretation of the classic Hawken Rifle and even copies their somewhat distinctive snail shaped bolster. German silver furniture includes a plain oval patchbox, butt and toe plates, double-spur extended grip triggerguard, lock screw escutcheon, nose cap, entry pipe and wedge escutcheons. Barrel rib with two iron pipes secures a wood ramrod. A really lovely, high quality example of an Eastern-made Plains Rifle. This plain but attractive German silver mounted rifle was certainly a step in quality above the iron or brass mounted “working rifles” that are typical of this form. A very nice mid-19th century plains rifle in nice condition. 

H Elwell was an early to mid-19th century gun lock maker who produced late period flint and percussion locks in Pennsylvania. J Wurfflein was almost certainly a relative of the famous Philadelphia gunmaker and retailer Andrew Wurfflein who worked 1835-1871 and Andrew’s son William who continued the business until circa 1910. Although Sellers lists him as “unlocated” he was almost certainly a mid-19th contemporary working in Philadelphia or the surrounding area. Stockel lists him as John Wurfflein working in Philadelphia circa 1855-1861.

  • Price Realized
  • $2,400


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