Flintlock Longrifle

Gunsmith Henry Young American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 372

Henry Young, the maker of this longrifle, belonged to the third generation of a family that included at least five gunsmiths who were active over four generations or more. While many longrifles of the period succeed or fail as works of art based on the merits of their raised or incised carving, Henry Young’s rifles have little carving or none at all, instead being distinguished by their creatively shaped and delicately engraved brass fittings, and in particular by their eccentric, often asymmetrical patch boxes. The patch box of this rifle, an inspired Rococo fantasy, demonstrates the main characteristics of his style well. The first Henry Young, grandfather of the maker of this rifle, and his son John, were the first and second generation gunsmiths of the family. They lived and worked in Easton Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, where they may have trained, or at least inspired, other highly accomplished gunsmiths from the region, especially Herman Rupp and Jacob Kuntz.

Flintlock Longrifle, Henry Young (American, Easton, Pennsylvania, ca. 1775–ca. 1833 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania), Wood (maple), steel, iron, brass, silver, American, Pennsylvania, Easton Township, Northampton County

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