Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 220: E.H. Collier Patent Revolving Flintlock Carbine-Snap Bayonet

Auction Date: December 2, 2016

Extremely Rare E.H. Collier Patent Revolving Flintlock Carbine with Snap Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $55,000

Extremely Rare E.H. Collier Patent Revolving Flintlock Carbine with Snap Bayonet

Manufacturer: Collier Patent
Model: Flintlock
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 69
Barrel: 14 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 7342
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 88
Class: Antique

Collier revolving flintlock carbine believed to have been manufactured by English gunmaker Henry Nock c. 1818-1824. The unique Collier revolving pistols, rifles, carbines and shotguns were designed by American Elisha H. Collier and patented in Great Britain in 1818. The Collier revolving flintlock firearms were based on a hand-rotating five-chamber flintlock cylinder design on a musket invented by Artemus Wheeler of Concord, Massachusetts and utilized a self-priming pan developed by Wilson of London c. 1811. Elisha Collier operated "Collier & Co., Gunmakers" in London from 1818 to 1827 and sold revolving pistols, rifles, carbines and shotguns. Experts believe that most Collier firearms were actually made by prominent British gunmakers such as Nock, Mortimer and Rigby. Collier firearms display the fine quality workmanship typical of the best British gunmakers. Total production of Collier firearms is estimated to be approximately 150 pieces. Collier firearms are historically significant, in part, because the revolving cylinder is believed to have influenced Samuel Colt in his subsequent revolving firearms designs. This is confirmed by a pamphlet Colt used in his lecture "On the Application of Machinery to the Manufacture of rotating-breech fire-arms and their peculiarities" in which the Collier, very similar to this example is identified/shown on page 52. In 1851 Collier was compelled to testify in a lawsuit involving Colt (Samuel Colt v. the Massachusetts Arms Company) in which he had to define his hand-rotated design. This carbine has a 14-inch, round .69 caliber smoothbore barrel with bronze (gunmetal) five-shot cylinder, and automatically primed flash pan with large frizzen that serves as a reservoir for priming powder. The barrel and frame are jointed by a fluted top strap. The carbine has a flat-faced, flush-fitted lock plate and tang with simple iron trigger guard. The barrel has an under lug with a latch for a 8 1/4-inch spring-loaded bayonet. The nicely figured English walnut stock has an iron, musket-style buttplate. The bottom of the stock has an inlet for a wooden ramrod with horn tip. The lock plate is engraved: "E.H. Collier Patent No. 9" in flowing script. The carbine has no other visible markings. The action functions by cocking the hammer and manually retracting and rotating the cylinder. The spring-loaded cylinder is then forced forward against the barrel to provide a tight gas seal, and the pan is primed by the automatic primer.

Rating Definition:

Very good. The carbine appears to have all of the original components. The cylinder rotates and seals properly, and the action is crisp. The barrel, receiver, lock plate, cock, automatic primer, side plate, trigger guard and buttplate have a silver-gray patina with light pitting and scattered age discoloration. The markings on the lock plate are clear. The brass cylinder has an attractive, un-polished, "mustard yellow" patina. The highly figured stock shows numerous light storage and handling marks but remains in good overall condition. All Collier revolving pistols, rifles, carbines and shotguns firearms are extremely rare and historically significant firearms. This carbine is considered to be the rarest and earliest of all the Collier revolving firearms.

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