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Christian Korber (also spelled Chretien Koerber) was a court gunmaker to Prince zu Hohenlohe and the Duke of Wurttemberg from the mid to late 18th century based in the town of Ingelfingen on the Kocher River in what is the present day German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. The silver wrist escutcheon on this fine sporting gun is engraved with the crowned monogram of King Frederick I of Wurttemberg (1754-1816), with his coat of arms carved in highly detailed raised relief on the left side of the stock behind the cheekpiece. The upper flats of the fire blued smoothbore barrel are signed "Chretien Koerber a Ingelfingen" in silver and further decorated with silver inlaid scroll and floral patterns. The barrel also has a gold vent liner and a silver "spider" base blade front sight. The barrel tang is bright burnished steel and secured by a lightly engraved nitre blue screw. The rounded lock is of bright burnished steel and has a frizzen spring roller, light border detailing, and a gold-lined priming pan. The furniture is silver and includes pierced scroll pattern accent plates. The ramrod pipes also have a spiral style pierced design. The finely figured stock has some delicately carved scroll, floral, and avian accents, intricate pierced scroll carving on the left at the breech that beautifully ties in with the scroll pattern side plate, molding, a finely patterned checkered wrist accented by silver pin borders, a horn and mother-of-pearl cross star inlay on the rounded cheekpiece, and the noted relief carved coat of arms of the Kingdom of Wurttemberg behind the cheekpiece. With silver tipped wooden ramrod. Frederick I of Wurttemberg was the Duke of Wurttemberg between 1797 and 1816, and was crowned King on January 1, 1806. The Kingdom of Wurttemberg officially left the Holy Roman Empire and became part of the Confederation of the Rhine expanding the kingdom's territory. He had previously fled to Austria in 1800 when the French invaded but later allied with Napoleon and provided men for his disastrous campaign against Russia. Frederick's daughter Catharina married Jerome Bonaparte, but he rejoined the Allies against Napoleon in 1813 and was reconfirmed as king at the Congress of Vienna. A very similarly embellished side by side combination gun also by Koerber was sold by Rock Island Auction Co. on September 9, 2018, Lot 3118, and these arms were likely made around the same time, possibly as part of a larger garniture for the royal hunting collection. That example had a "D" on a plainer wrist escutcheon, possibly for another member of the court. Provenance: King Frederick I of Wurttemberg, The Norman R. Blank Collection
Very fine with 90% plus of the bright fire blue finish remaining along the barrel with some minor fading mostly towards the muzzle, attractive aged patina on the silver inlays and furniture, mostly bright lock with some slight oxidation, and general minor overall wear. The stock is also very fine aside from a splice along the bottom of the butt at the toe and has distinct carving and checkering and occasional minor marks and scratches. Mechanically excellent.
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