Ketland "Dragon" side-plate Indian Trade Gun, in French style 'tiger' maple stock
With its early flat dragon-style side-plate, this attractive trade gun wears its long American history lightly. M. von Damm shows a Ketland with identical barrel and furniture in his new book, "The Fur Trade," p. 42. Made for Osage Indians in War of 1812, distibuted by US Office of Indian trade as "Chief's Guns." Found in Indian graves. Stocked in imitation of French arms with the classic "pied a vache" drop to the butt, for Indians who were accustomed to French goods. Indian guns were tools to be used, not coddled for the benefit of later collectors!We do not advocate restoring such pieces, but the twentieth-century finish shows off the striping of the maple stock to great advantage. (The stripping was a period application.)
A classic gun of the western frontier, with Indian use, updated and repaired for a century of service!