Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1083: Documented Early 18th Century Liege French Trade Musket

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Documented Early 18th Century Liege French Flintlock Trade Musket

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,000 - $4,500

Documented Early 18th Century Liege French Flintlock Trade Musket

Manufacturer: Valet
Model: Flintlock
Type: Shotgun
Gauge: 69
Barrel: 45 9/16 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 386
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 50
Class: Antique

This Liege-made French flintlock trade gun was manufactured some time in the early half of the 18th century for the fur trade in the French North American colonies, with most supplied to Canada and others sent to New Orleans and the Caribbean islands. These were referred as "fusils de chasse" or "hunting guns" and supplied by the French government. These Liege-made trade guns are described on pages 86-87 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume I" with this exact musket pictured on both pages. Features include a small blade front sight and a full length stock with no barrel bands and iron fittings besides the brass end cap and ramrod pipes. "J. Valet/A Liege" (Jean Valet, maker) marked at the center of the lock, which shares similarities to a French Model 1728 lock with slight visual differences. There are several makers named Jean Valet are recorded as working in Saint Etienne at various time frames between 1729-1782, and the only period gunsmith found working in Liege is named Jean Vallet who was active between 1762-1780. "I*R" marked on the side plate. Faint remnants of markings are visible on the top left flat of the breech end of the barrel with one that appears to be a crown or "JD" or "JL" proof. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. For more information on similar examples, reference the book "The French Trade Gun in North America 1662-1759" by Kevin Gladysz. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Good, exhibiting smooth brown patina overall with scattered light pitting and wear, a touched up spot of refinished blue finish visible at the rear of the barrel tang, and crisp lock markings. Stock is also good as lightly sanded and re-oiled with scattered scratches and dents, numerous repaired sections along the barrel channel, numerous scattered cracks, some chips and repairs around the lock, and a chip at the toe. Mechanically fine.

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