Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3306: Iron Mounted British Brown Bess Flintlock Musket with Bayonet

Auction Date: September 12, 2021

Rare King's Regiment of Foot Iron Mounted British "Pre-Brown Bess" Flintlock Musket with Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $35,000

Rare King's Regiment of Foot Iron Mounted British "Pre-Brown Bess" Flintlock Musket with Bayonet

Manufacturer: Wilson
Model: Flintlock
Type: Musket
Gauge: 78
Barrel: 45 3/4 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1009
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 168
Class: Antique

These are often called "Pre-Brown Bess" muskets. Though these muskets are very rare, a few are known, including the example at West Point, and another Pocock marked musket for the King's Regiment of Foot is featured on page 22 of "Red Coat and Brown Bess" by Anthony D. Darling and noted as a: "Long Land Service Musket made c. 1724 with original steel ramrod for regiments on the Irish Establishment. It is iron mounted with typical land pattern furniture. . .The barrel is marked Pocock C3 No 22. John Pocock was colonel of the 8th, or King's, Regiment from 1721 until his death in 1732. The butt tang is engraved MAJrs COMPy, indicating the Major's or third battalion company." This musket is marked "POCOCK C3 No 4" on the barrel and "MAJrs COMPy" on the buttplate tang indicating it was used by the same company. Colonel John Pocock fought during Queen Anne's wars and was promoted to colonel in 1707 and took over the regiment of Lord Strathnaver in 1710 and fought during the War of the Spanish Succession. He also took over Boron Hotham's Regiment of Foot in 1720 and led it as Pocock's Regiment of Foot in 1720-1721 before taking command of the King's Regiment of Foot. Years later, this regiment served in North America following the French & Indian War and into the American Revolution and fought in Canada and in the west before returning to England in 1785. Another 1720s musket with different regimental marking can be seen on page 58 of "The History of Weapons of the American Revolution" by George C. Neumann. That musket also has the iron forend tip band and an iron ramrod. These are the early 1718 pattern muskets with iron furniture rather than the brass fittings that later became standard. Much of the furniture is rather similar to the more common brass mounted Long Land muskets, but the ramrod pipes a simpler, and the trigger guard is a much different design with spire pointed finials. The buttplate finial tip and top of the wrist escutcheon also have small teats. In addition to the markings noted above the barrel has a stud front sight that doubles as the bayonet lug, ordnance proofs, and has been fitted with a notch rear sight on the upper tang. The bridle-less lock matches the barrel and is marked "WILSON/3/4" on the tail and has the Georgian cipher at the center and a heart shaped stamp on the interior. The forend has an iron band at the tip and the classic bulbous swell at the ramrod entry-point. There is wavy carving around the barrel tang, and the stock flats have raised tear drop flats. The buttstock is heavy and has a rounded "ogee" profile on the "handrail" comb and pronounced grooves that gives the wrist an elongated appearance. A leather sling is fitted to the sling swivels mounted through the forend and front of the trigger guard, and a socket bayonet is included. Geoge Moller's faint "GDM" collection mark is near the toe. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very good with mottled gray and brown patina and light pitting on the metal, generally distinct markings, and mild overall wear. The refinished stock is good and has some loss at the forend and mortise edges, and mild scratches and dings. The later bayonet has been browned and is very good with minor wear. Mechanically fine. This is a both an extremely rare and historic early pattern British musket.

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