Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1077: Documented French Saint Etienne 1717 Flintlock Rampart Musket

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Extremely Rare Documented French Saint Etienne Model 1717 Flintlock Rampart Musket

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $16,000

Extremely Rare Documented French Saint Etienne Model 1717 Flintlock Rampart Musket

Manufacturer: French
Model: Musket
Type: Musket
Gauge: 71
Barrel: 47 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 483
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 48
Class: Antique

This is a very seldom seen example of a French Saint Etienne Model 1717 flintlock rampart musket. Approximately 40,000 of these muskets were manufactured in total between 1717-1725, with very few surviving examples today. French Model 1717 rampart muskets are described on pages 309-311 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms Volume I" with this exact musket pictured on pages 309 and 310. Page 309 states, "The Model 1717 rampart musket is visually similar to the infantry musket [reference previous lot], except that rampart muskets were stocked to the muzzle. The salient differences are in the very slightly larger caliber, the larger barrel diameter, and the heavier stock dimensions. The example described here was fabricated at Saint Etienne. It conforms to the configuration of the regulation Model 1717 rampart musket, except that it is brass-mounted. Its markings suggest manufacture at the Royal Armory for commercial sale, possibly to the navy or the French India Company (Compagnie Des Indes)." Features an early wooden ramrod, blade front sight, brass S shaped side plate, brass trigger guard with two long teardrop finials, and a brass buttplate with a long "wasp-waisted" tang. "S/(fleur-de-lis)/E" Saint Etienne marking above "P. GIRARD" (contractor for the Royal Manufactory) marked at the center of the early lock, "I•DAVID" marked on the underside of the lock, and "IPEVI" ahead of two illegible cartouches and "IP" marked on the top left flat at the breech. Small "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Good, exhibiting smooth brown patina, scattered light pitting, and moderate flash pitting at the breech and lock. Stock is also good as lightly sanded and re-oiled with numerous scattered scratches and handling marks, chips around the barrel retaining pins, a minor absent area at the top front of the lock, a few cracks ahead of the rear lock screw, a crack behind the side plate, a filled in hole behind the side plate where a sling swivel may have resided, repaired sections on either side of the barrel tang, chips on either side of the buttplate tang, two pin sized holes and an outline where an oval plaque may have resided on the right rear of the buttstock, and an attractive figure overall. Mechanically fine. Early French muskets such as this one are very rarely seen in any condition today. This spectacular example of a French Model 1717 rampart musket, right out of George Moller's prominent collection, would make for a prized addition to any advanced early martial or Pre-Revolutionary War era collection!

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