Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1191: Documented New York Marked Civil War Delafield Rifled Field Gun

Auction Date: September 11, 2021

Extraordinarily Scarce Documented State of New York Marked Civil War Delafield Rifled Field Gun with Carriage

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $50,000 - $75,000

Extraordinarily Scarce Documented State of New York Marked Civil War Delafield Rifled Field Gun with Carriage

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Gauge: 3 inch
Item Views: 3489
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 148
Class: Other

This Delafield rifle is noted on page 49 of "Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War" by James C. Hazlett, Edwin Olmstead, and M. Hume Parks where it is noted as then located in Peekskill, New York, and presumed to have been manufactured by Moores M. White & Co. also known as Globe Iron Works of 33rd Street and 11th Avenue in New York City. It was cast at the Isaac Gale Johnson foundry and finished by Moores M. White & Co. These 3.67 inch field Delafield rifles were manufactured in very small numbers, with 13 reported to have been delivered to the State of New York on March 18th, 1862. Seven surviving examples of these are currently known per "The Big Guns" by Edwin Olmstead. The muzzle is marked "No. 1" above the bore and "3.67" below. The top of the tube above the trunnions is marked "S.N.Y." (State of New York), and the trunnions are marked "M.M.W.&Co/I.G.J" and "1862/R.D." The markings note the finisher and foundry discussed above and the designer discussed below. Marked with the weight "1019" on the back surface of the breech below the knob. A rare shell for this rifle is also included. These rare field rifles and their shells were designed by Lieutenant Colonel Richard Delafield (1798-1873). The shell is designed to mechanically fit the rifling via flanges at the rear similar to winged bullets and belted balls used in some rifles. He graduated first in his class in 1818 from the United States Military Academy at West Point and was assigned to the Corps of Engineers, was the superintendent at West Point in 1838-1845 and 1856-1861, led the "Delafield Commission" sent by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis in 1855 to study European military strategy, published as "Report on the Art of War in Europe in 1854, 1855, and 1856," and rose to brigadier general and chief of engineers during the Civil War. After retiring in 1866, he was a regent of the Smithsonian Institution. Thirteen guns were fired in his memory at West Point when he died. Includes a later production wheeled carriage, tools, and muzzle cover/tampion.

Rating Definition:

Fine with a coat of protective black paint, some moderate pitting, and clearly legible markings. Carriage is very good with a coat of protective green paint, some cracks visible at the wheel hubs, otherwise sturdy.

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