By Larry Schuknecht
On March 28, 2020 the Amoskeag Auction Co. handled the sale of the Cletus Klien collection and this rifle was part of it-Lot no. 115. It sold for $8,225. The following images are courtesy of Amoskeag.
The following three images are of a Martini action sporting rifle probably produced between 1890 and 1914.
The Gmeiner family of gun makers dates back to the 18th Century. The first recorded Gmeiner was Anton (Sr.) who is found in Hildburghhausen, Saxony circa 1720 to 1760. His son- Anton Jr. was born in 1746 and died in 1816. He was first located in Hildburghausen, where he was born and raised but moved to Etabliert in 1775. In 1811 he proposed that his son should succeed him as the Court gunsmith in Hildburghausen. At that time his son was working as a Court gunsmith in Gotha. In 1816 when the father died the son inherited the Court gunsmith position in Hildburghausen.
Melchior Anton Gmeiner, the maker of the muzzle loading rifle shown was the son of Heinrich Anton Gmeiner. His shop was located at Josephsplatz 2 in Altenberg / Thuringia. He was the Court gunsmith and both manufactured and sold hunting and target guns circa 1860-1875. According to the Handbook of Industry the shop employed 10 people in 1873. His sons were Rudolph Anton and Heinrich Gmeiner who may have keep the business going until circa 1920.