This exceptional officer's fusil is pictured and discussed on pages 243-246 of "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume I: Colonial and Revolutionary War Arms" by George Moller. British officers were traditionally equipped with spontoons and sergeants with halberds even after these arms became obsolete in warfare. They were used as a sign of rank and to direct their men. Privately purchased fusils were used by some officers during the French & Indian War. They became more widespread during the American Revolution but are rare and valuable additions to any collection of arms from the era. Since officer's arms were a sign of their status, they are often finely mounted, carved, and engraved. George Washington forbid the carrying of fusils by Continental Army officers as he did not want his officers distracted from directing their men. The silver hallmarks on the buttplate and trigger guard tang include the "b" date code for 1777 and an "I-K" silversmith mark (likely John King). John Fox Twigg (1732-1790) was one of the greatest late 18th century English gunmakers. The convex lock plate is signed "Twigg" in script with scroll accents and has light border engraving. The 20 gauge (.62 caliber) barrel has a small bayonet stud on the underside for a socket bayonet, a silver front sight with flush inlaid "spider" base, "Twigg" signed in script with scrolling accents followed by "LONDON" on the sighting flat which has an engraved border and finial, London proof and view marks flanking Twigg's "crown/IT" maker's mark on the upper left at the breech, and a nice border at the breech edge. The upper tang is also engraved with scroll and floral designs. The furniture is silver. The four ramrod ferrules have banded designs. The sideplate has scroll, martial, and border engraving and has a screw in the tail in addition to the two lock screws. The wrist escutcheon has a shell finial on top and an urn on the bottom. It is engraved with a coat of arms over the motto "PRO-ARIS-ET-FOCIS" (For Hearth and Home or For Altar and Hearth), a widely used motto. The trigger guard has a classic acorn finial, quiver of arrows along with a bow and club on the bow, and scroll and border designs on the tang. The buttplate has scroll, classical arms, and border designs on the tang. The richly finished stock has raised shell and scroll carving around the barrel tang. The ramrod has a silver tip. Includes a loose fitting bayonet. Provenance: The George Moller Collection
Fine. The silver displays attractive aged patina throughout, including some dark tones in the protected areas. The lock has primarily silver-gray patina with some darker gray patches, and the barrel has dark gray and brown patina, some vice marks, and light pitting. The refinished bayonet is fine and is dark brown with some mild pitting. Aside from a sliver absent under the nose of the lock, the stock is very fine and has most of the glossy finish, light scratches and dings, a few faint cracks in the forend, and light overall wear. Mechanically excellent.
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