Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1080: Joseph Bunney of London Brass Barreled Flintlock Blunderbuss

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Engraved Joseph Bunney of London Brass Barreled Flintlock Blunderbuss with Snap Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,000 - $3,000

Engraved Joseph Bunney of London Brass Barreled Flintlock Blunderbuss with Snap Bayonet

Manufacturer: British
Model: Blunderbuss
Type: Shotgun
Gauge: 60
Barrel: 14 1/8 inch part octagon
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 355
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 49
Class: Antique

Blunderbusses are widely recognized for their use by and against boarding parties in naval combat, especially by the British Navy and pirates. This has made them highly desirable collectibles. Those with brass barrels were especially suited for the high seas since they are resistant to salt water corrosion. British blunderbusses were also issued to the Royal Mail coaches to defend against highwaymen. They were used by civilians on private vessels and on land for self-defense. Their flared muzzles acted as a funnel and made reloading much easier while bumping along in a coach or on the rolling seas. Most reports indicate they perform similar to modern short barrel shotguns of the same bore size making them well suited for close quarters offensive and defense engagements. This blunderbuss, made by Joseph Bunney (active 1765-1814), is inscribed "Bunney" at the center of the lock with a half-cock safety and a roller frizzen spring, "London" inscribed on the top barrel flat, Tower private proofs on the left of the breech, a checkered wrist stock fitted with brass furniture. The breech, lock, rear side plate, trigger guard, and buttplate tang have light border engraving. Equipped with a 12 3/4 inch folding "snap bayonet". The gauge is estimated above, and the bore flares to about 1 1/3 inches at the muzzle.

Rating Definition:

Good, retaining an attractive bright patina on the brass, and a gray patina on the lock, some light pitting, dings at the muzzle, and clear markings overall. Stock is very good as lightly sanded and re-oiled with scattered light scratches and dents, a filled in rectangular section on the left around the barrel pin, a repaired chip on the right around the barrel pin, some light chips ahead of the lock, a small crack behind the lock, a very small repaired chip behind the upper tang, and nice checkering. Mechanically fine.

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