Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 130: H.E. Leman Flintlock Northwest Trade Gun

Auction Date: September 10, 2021

Rare and Desirable Documented Large Bore Henry E. Leman Flintlock Northwest Trade Gun

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,500

Rare and Desirable Documented Large Bore Henry E. Leman Flintlock Northwest Trade Gun

Manufacturer: Leman
Model: Percussion
Type: Musket
Gauge: 69
Barrel: 36 inch part octagon
Finish: brown
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1344
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 107
Class: Antique

This exact trade gun is pictured on page 392 of "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume II: From the 1790s to the End of the Flintlock Period" by George Moller. Most Northwest Guns are around 20 bore (.62), but this one is 16 bore (.69). Moller states, "The large-bored fusil described here is attributed to Leman's contract of April 1 or December 1, 1857. Leman attempted to inform the government that the Indians preferred smaller-bored arms, but the government insisted on this caliber. These large-bored fusils were unpopular with the Indians, and no additional large-bored arms of this type were ordered." Aside from the larger caliber, it is essentially a standard mid-19th century Northwest Trade Gun in form and has the over-sized trigger and iron trigger guard and classic serpentine side plate. The barrel has a small blade front sight, two banded transition points, the sitting fox over "PA" cartouche at the breech followed by "*H. E. LEMAN * LANCASTER PA," false English proofs on the upper left flat, and a "HEL" and "P" on the upper left at the breech. The lock has the sitting fox and "PA" cartouche over "H. E. LEMAN/LANCASTER PA" at the center, light scroll and border engraving, military style cock with reinforced neck, and corresponding robust frizzen. The forend band, two ramrod pipes, side plate, and buttplate are brass. The stock is rather plain aside from the well-shaped raised tear drop side flats and tang plateau. A circled animal design is on the left side of the buttstock. The ramrod has a shotgun style brass tip. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine with much of the brown finish remaining on the barrel and trigger guard, gray and brown patina on the balance, some mild pitting mainly at the vent, aged patina on the brass furniture, and relatively minor overall wear, especially for an Indian trade gun. The stock is excellent and has some mild scratches and dings, some minor hairline cracks, and fairly light overall wear. Mechanically fine.

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