OG - POOR- major or minor parts replaced; major replacement parts required and extensive restoration needed; metal deeply pitted; principal lettering, numerals and design obliterated, wood badly scratched, bruised, cracked or broken; mechanically inoperative; generally undesirable as a collectors firearm in its present state.
Edward Bate (1743-1810) was one of the most talented late 18th century air gun makers and was active in London. He was also among the few who produced high quality air pistols. Though this example offered looks similar to a flintlock long arm, it is actually a muzzleloading air gun with a copper ball reservoir. Ball reservoirs were in use since the late 17th century and had the added advantage of being easily swapped out. The smoothbore part octagon barrel measures at approximately .50 caliber/13 mm. Air guns of this style were used primarily for hunting. "Wind guns" had several advantages over conventional firearms including that they were quieter, smokeless, quicker to reload, and relatively unaffected by rain. They also required less cleaning since they did not require corrosive black powder like the flintlocks that this example is modeled after. The barrel has a blade front sight, notch rear sight, "BATE/LONDON" marked in a gold inlaid oval on top of the barrel, and floral and border engraving on the barrel tang, lock and fittings. The flat beveled step tailed lock is marked "BATE" at the center. Circular brass collection tag marked "R.D. BEEMAN/PRIVATE/COLLECTION/857" hanging from the trigger guard. Absent cock and some internal lock components. Provenance: The Dr. Robert D. Beeman Collection
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