Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1173: Civil War Era Lindner Austrian 1854 Conversion Carbine

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Rare Civil War Era Lindner Patent Breech Loading Saddle Ring Carbine Conversion of an Austrian Model 1854 Extra Corps Percussion Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,000 - $6,000

Rare Civil War Era Lindner Patent Breech Loading Saddle Ring Carbine Conversion of an Austrian Model 1854 Extra Corps Percussion Rifle

Manufacturer: Lindner
Model: Carbine
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 55
Barrel: 19 7/8 inch round
Finish: blue
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 266
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 77
Class: Antique

This seldom encountered surviving example is one of approximately 3,000 Austrian rifles of two types, including the Model 1842 Jaeger rifles and Model 1854 Extra Corps rifles, reported to have been converted to the Lindner breech loading system and transformed to carbine configuration with a saddle ring as a means of attempting to attract U.S. Government interest for purchase; with part of the work performed by the American Edward Lindner's shop overseas in Hamburg and shipped back to the United States to Amoskeag Manufacturing Company where they were “altered and finished” between 1860-62. Approximately 400 of these Austrian Lindner conversion carbines were sold by sales agent Samuel Smith to the U.S. Government in November of 1861 (not to be confused with the "First Type" that is listed in Flayderman's Guide, of which it has recently been discovered that it incorrectly includes this delivery of these Austrian conversions in its total) and it is said that some were used by Colonel Thornton F. Brodhead's 1st Michigan Cavalry regiment during the Civil War. Detailed information about these early Lindner Austrian conversion carbines can be found in the book "Lindner Carbines and Rifles" by Edward A. Hull on pages 64-87. Page 71 of the book states, "The carbines issued to the 1st Michigan Cavalry may have seen service at the Second Battle of Bull Run, August 28-30, 1862 (where Col. Brodhead suffered a mortal wound). By December, 1862 the regiment had been rearmed with 385 Sharps carbines and these Lindner carbines disappear from the record." No other U.S. deliveries of these carbines are known, with the majority reported to have been later sold to South America and used by Brazil and Argentina. Page 87 of Edward Hull's book states, "From the scarcity of examples today it would appear that even those that were used here in the Civil War were subsequently sold out of the country... the author has located only nine 'Austrian carbine' conversions remaining in the U.S.... the converted 'Austrian carbine' is today among the most rare of Civil War issue carbines." The locking "screw-sleeve" and breech block on this rifle are both marked with serial number "486" on the underside, and the breech block is marked "EDWARD LINDNER'S/PATENT,/MARCH 29, 1859." (very faint, illegible) on top in reference to Lindner's U.S. patent number 23,378. Lindner's breech loading system utilizes a locking "screw-sleeve" coupling that joins the breech end of the barrel to a tip-up threaded breech block with a chamfered face. To load, the knob on the screw-sleeve is rotated to counterclockwise using the right hand, which allows the spring loaded breech block to tip upwards for loading with a combustible paper cartridge or loose powder and ball. Once loaded, the spring loaded breech block is pushed down and held with the left thumb, and the screw-sleeve is rotated clockwise gripping the knob with the right hand; creating a tight gas seal by acting as a cover around the breech while utilizing it's threaded screw system to pull the chamfered face of the breech block tightly against the breech end of the barrel. This carbine has blade and notch sights, "W/L&Z 486" marked on the right side of the breechblock, "486" on the bottom of the barrel hidden beneath the forend cap and on some of the small components, and some other small markings. The stock has a saddle ring on the left and primarily brass furniture. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very good, exhibiting a mix of gray and brown patina with scattered patches of light to moderate pitting and period wear. Stock is also very good with some light handling marks, some chips around the edges of the lock and on the left side of the stock, cracks on the left front around the small brass screw plate and on the top and bottom of the buttstock, and a filled in section on the bottom of the buttstock where a sling swivel used to be. Mechanically excellent. A unique opportunity to acquire a Lindner Austrian Model 1854 conversion, one of the rarest Civil War era breech loading saddle ring carbines extant!

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