Kentucky Rifles of this quality and size seem to be getting a lot of attention in the past few years. All I can say is, "IT'S ABOUT TIME"! Now, this gun isn't by one of the Masters of "The Golden Age of Kentucky Rifles", however it could certainly be called the masterpiece of this particular maker, and much of the workmanship could remind one of the work of Martin or John Shell. This gun is signed in small delicate script "J. ROOP" on the barrel. I have seen only a few guns marked with this name, usually much smaller in stature. I'm sure many of the collectors out there have rifles marked J. Roop as well. However I don't think they've seen one quite like this, and I think that's because Roop built Kentucky Rifles for many years and as with most makers that contiued their trade for many years, Kentuckies seemed to down-size throughout their evolution in North America. (Still listed as a maker in the 1840's in Weaton, Indiana). He also had two sons, Jacob and John that may have been involved in the riflemaking trade. Jacob Sr. was born in Lancaster County, Pa. in 1779 and certainly completed his apprentice work by the turn of the century, if not in the late 1790's, in time to be classified as a "Golden Age Maker". He originally operated North of York, Pa. and is listed in the tax lists of 1805 in Dauphin County, Pa. This Flintlock Kentucky Rifle is a monster, measuring a full 68 & 1/2" overall with a 53"+ round, smoothbore barrel of .60 caliber. When found, this gun showed heavy weathering to the wood to a light straw to its high-points which have since been colored to match the finish that was still present forward of the lock-plate. Other than that, it is all original including the lock which is in its original flintlock configuration with no repair or conversion. It shows incised carving to each side of the fore-end and behind the rear ramrod pipe, C-scroll relief carving behind the barrel-tang, raised carving to the rear of each side of the wrist. Beaver tails at the back end of each side of the lock and in front of the comb, raised vine and scroll carving to the cheekpiece to include a delicate flower. It also has eight barrel keys of silver or German Silver, a silver thub-piece, engraved silver star inlay to the cheekpiece and a stylized Bowie-Knife in brass at the top edge of the cheek. A great gun for a nice collection of Kentucky Rifles or maybe a one-gun collection over the fireplace.