The barrel of this rifle is signed "J Baum."
Several Baum gunmakers are known to have produced long rifles in the late 18th and early 19th century including Samuel Baum and Adam Baum. The latter worked at the Hummeltown arms factory and produced weapons for the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
His son Daniel also produced rifles for the war effort.
Another of his three sons was named John (1761-?) and is the most likely maker of this weapon.
The rifle is pictured and discussed on pages 380-383 of "Rifles of Colonial America: Volume II" by George Shumway. Shumway notes that the rifle was likely built in 1775-1800.
The rifle is somewhat of a enigma. It has a long slender build with a part round/part octagon barrel that is bored smooth but is only .43 caliber suggesting it was used like a rifle. Further rifle characteristics include the blade and notch sights and the rifle style trigger guard. It has a unique rococo style patch box engraved with a griffin like animal, and the trigger guard has a cat like animal. Shumway notes in his description that these designs appear to be styled after the animals in "18th century Pennsylvania-German alphabet books and natural history books." He also notes that the carving on the left side of the butt is more Pennsylvania-German folk style than the style used by American gunmakers on early rifles.
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