This is a rare example of 1 of just 100 Sharps Model 1855 Martial marked carbines with a 19 inch barrel in 577 caliber purchased by the U.S. Navy in July of 1857. "SHARPS/PATENT/1848" and "26006" marked on the upper tang, and "EDWARD MAYNARD/PATENTEE 1845" on the tape primer door. Blade front sight and a rear sight with four folding leaves and a center notch graduated 2, 3, 4, and 6. A British "crown/2" proof is hidden underneath the barrel and on the right of the breech block, matching number "26006" marked underneath the barrel. Fitted with a smooth walnut forearm and a straight wrist stock with a brass patchbox and buttplate. "I/SCR/1857" inspection mark on the front plate of the brass patchbox and marked "USN" on top of the buttplate tang with two five-pointed stars between the letters. On pg. 109 of the book "Civil War Carbines, Volume II, The early years" by John D. McAulay it states, "By June 1857, the Sharps factory had completed their British contract for the Model 1855. Having additional carbines left over, 100 were delivered to the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York, ... The U.S. Navy Model 1855 Sharps carbines inspected by Commander [Stephen C.] Rowan were stamped with the letters U.S.N. on the brass buttplate and on the patchbox: I/SCR/1857... Many of these M1855 Sharps carbines were issued to the Marines during the later part of 1857-1859 period. They likely remained in the Navy inventory throughout the Civil War." "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Provenance: The George Moller Collection
Very good showing genuine Naval use, with a mottled gray and brown patina overall, scattered light to moderate pitting, and mostly clear markings. The brass is bright as lightly cleaned. The wood is good with scattered dents, chips, scratches, and a 1 1/4 inch repaired section visible at the toe. Mechanically fine with a broken/absent gear section inside the tape primer mechanism. An extremely rare example of an early U.S. Navy purchased/inspected Sharps M1855 carbine.
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