This system was designed by Bartholomeo Girandoni around 1779 and was used by the Austrian military in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Sporting variations were also manufactured. The Girandoni is easily the most famous early air rifle or windbuchse largely thanks to the fact that for many years it has been associated with Lewis & Clark and their famous Corps of Discovery Expedition. This short example may have been designed for a boy or woman or perhaps for hunting from horseback. It has blade front and two leaf rear sights, a magazine tube on the right side of the rifled barrel at the breech for the balls, no visible markings, brass furniture and action housing, steel suspension ring ahead of the trigger guard, dark horn forend tip, incised scroll carving on the figured walnut stock, and a leather bound butt reservoir.
Fine overall with gray patina and spotting on the barrel and lock, light brown and niter blue finish on the magazine mechanism, traces of casehardened finish to the lock, aged patina on the brass, age crackling of the leather, spliced wood under the lock from the time of manufacture, some aged staining, and distinct but smoothed carving. The lock mechanism is mechanically fine.
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