Masterpieces Of The American Longrifle: The Joe Kindig, Jr. Collection

by Patrick Hornberger & Joe Kindig III

Masterpieces Of The American Longrifle: The Joe Kindig, Jr. Collection

Patrick Hornberger & Joe Kindig III – Not since 1960 has a book featured rifles from the famous Kindig Collection of American long rifles. Highlighting 65 of the best guns of the Kindig Collection, this book includes the un-told story of Joe Kindig, Jr., the famed antiques dealer who amassed the largest ever collection of American long rifles. This large format book contains 160 pages, 20 B&W images, and 360 full color photos of the rifles in this fine collection. Hardbound, with dust jacket.

During the early decades of the twentieth century, Joe Kindig Jr., renowned antiques dealer and collector from York, Pennsylvania, began to amass an unparalleled and encyclopedic collection of American longrifles. Kindig’s interest in the guns rested as much with the development of eighteenth-century weaponry as with the skilled artistry and craftsmanship evident in each example.

Kindig identified the early gunsmiths as the “greatest colonial artisans.” In a 1955 article published in the Saturday Evening Post, Kindig asserted, “In no other field did a man have to show so much skill. The gunsmith who made an early rifle had to be three fine artisans in one. In forging the lock and barrel and rifling the barrel, his ironwork equaled that of the best ironmasters in the country. In shaping the stock of curly maple, one of the most difficult woods to work, and in carving decorations on it and inletting the metal parts, his woodworking rivaled that of the famous Philadelphia and Newport colonial furniture makers. And in designing and engraving the brass patchbox in the stock, his sheer artistry, though done in a baser metal than silver, compares with that of many colonial silversmiths. He created a rifle that was unmistakably an individual product and it contained something of his spirit and soul.”

Joe Kindig, Jr. was a trailblazer in the world of early American antiques in the 1920s and 30s. He was among the first to trace the early histories of Pennsylvania German objects including painted furniture, fraktur, and pottery from right in his own backyard: south central Pennsylvania. Kindig also pursued the finest “high style” antiques — chairs, tall case clocks, and high chests, etc. — from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New England.

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