John Shell...Dauphin Co, PA                        Eight additional rifles by him are in the                         American Library

                                                                   ART:  “Good, Better, Best”

Art comes in many forms and “quality’”. It is the “eye of the beholder” and artist that make the most important assessments.  Israel Sack, world respected purveyor of Art in American Furniture, may have expressed it best in his book “The Points of Furniture,” known by many  as “GOOD, BETTER, BEST.” It is the concept of “comparison.” Again, it is a person’s judgement and society’s judgement of any object of art on its merit. In reality, no one can have all the best even if it came “labeled.” There is “romance” associated with all things of America's past. To own a piece of any “quality” is a privilege.

                  Disclaimer: The developers of this website have used, whenever possible "peer opinions" as to who should be included on this page. 

                                                                                                                                 Thoughts for the Viewer
* Collectors cherish original “patina” and thus most of the pictures will reflect that.
* The artist “Gunsmiths” presented here are generally recognized as “Grand Masters” though the examples presented are not necessarily their finest works. There are many others but pictures are not avaiable. We will be adding more picture as they become available.
* The gunsmith made a living selling utilitarian guns and the fine art guns were the exception and made for special order with an additional charge ( often for $0.25 or little more) to the buyer for each feature we judge today as “fine art.”
* Just as in painting, furniture, jewelry, etc…..there is “GOOD, BETTER, and BEST” all worthy of recognition, ownership and exhibition.
* Many of the finer pieces are in private collections or Museums. Our effort is to provide you with a broad representation of Good, Better, BEST!!
* Remember: One slip with a "graver" or "chissel" and you start all over!

*                                         We will be adding more picture as they become available.


Willain Henry , Lancaster...His Ambitions by  Professor Scott Paul Gordon

Frederick Sell...York,PA

A video segment ( Minutes 18-24) of "Kentucky Collectibles" with Authority Mel Hankla of American Hsitoric Services


                                                  A slide show

Master Gunsmiths of the "Golden Age" :18th & 19th Century