English flintlock muskets from the reign of King William III (r. 1689-1702, also known was William of Orange) very rarely come for sale on either side of the "pond." This musket is even scarcer in that it is pictured and discussed on pages 52-53 of "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume I: Colonial and Revolutionary War Arms" by George D. Moller and has his discreet "GDM" collection marking by the toe. Moller lists it as manufactured in the 1690s. While most English muskets from William's reign still had back/dog catches, this musket is part of a group that did not. The lightly rounded lock plate has a fairly straight profile, terminates in a pointed teat, and is the distinctive WR cipher of William III. The lock is bridleless and is secured by three screws passing through the lock without the use of a side plate or washers. The barrel has a rounded blade front sight, simple incised band at the transition point, Ordnance markings at the breech, and a deeper "RC" mark on the upper right flat slightly ahead of the vent. The stock has simple sheet brass ramrod pips, no entry pipe, a simple iron trigger guard, and a brass buttplate on the rounded butt. A wooden ramrod and a plug bayonet with a 18 1/4 inch blade with 6 1/2 inch false edge and wood handle with a hanging staple are included. Provenance: The George Moller Collection
Good with a mottled mix of gray and brown patina, mild pitting, aged patina on the brass, partially squashed ramrod pips, and moderate overall wear. The refinished stock is also good and has general dings and scratches, mild edge wear, and some cracks in the forend. Mechanically fine. The bayonet has dark brown patina and light pitting on the metal, thin cracks in the wood, and relatively mild overall wear.
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