Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 127: Brass Mounted U.S. Navy Ship Musket with French 1763 Lock

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Very Scarce Brass Mounted Navy Flintlock Ship Musket with French Model 1763 Lock and "US" Surcharge Markings

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

Very Scarce Brass Mounted Navy Flintlock Ship Musket with French Model 1763 Lock and "US" Surcharge Markings

Manufacturer: American
Model: Flintlock Musket
Type: Musket
Gauge: 69
Barrel: 42 1/8 inch round
Finish: brown
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 904
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 73
Class: Antique

This musket is fitted with a French Model 1763 lock, three brass barrel bands in the style of a French Model 1766 with a late pattern Brown Bess style brass trigger guard, and mounted in an American stock marked with an "x" over "V" stamp on the left stock flat; markings typically seen on circa 1798 delivered 1794 U.S. contract muskets that were made in Maryland and Pennsylvania and delivered to Schuylkill Arsenal. George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume II" has a section on page 135 in reference to 1794 U.S. contract muskets that do not conform to the French Model 1766 pattern, in which the book states, "...many of the U.S. contractors of 1794 received stocks, locks, and other metal components from Schuylkill Arsenal. In addition, no records have been found to indicate that patterns were furnished to these contractors. Because of this, and due to the diversity of French components that must have been in storage in Schuylkill Arsenal and other federal repositories, the contractors were issued locks and other metal components of a variety of French patterns. Therefore, many of the muskets produced varied considerably from the French Model 1766 pattern." Page 105-111 of the same book also describes in depth similar examples of 1796 contract "New Ship Muskets" assembled using leftover French components from Schuylkill Arsenal for U.S. Naval use in which it mentions the brass fittings being a key component of known examples. Pages 106 and 107 both show 235 "New Ship Muskets" as being delivered between January through August of 1798, which this musket is a likely candidate to have been a part of due to its circa 1798 markings on the left flat that were previously mentioned as well as its brass fittings and 42 inch barrel length as seen on other styles of known Ship Muskets from the same era. It is fitted with a bayonet stud on top of the barrel towards the muzzle, blade front sight fitted to the rear strap of the brass front barrel band, and "US" marked on top of the breech. The lock is marked "US" at the tail and a small French "crown/B" inspection mark at the top center. Sling swivels are fitted to the middle band and front of the trigger guard. Includes a reproduction leather sling. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very good, exhibiting a mix of refinished brown finish and smooth brown patina with some scattered light pitting, resurfaced frizzen, and nice markings in the metal. Brass fittings retain an attractive golden aged patina with a layer of old varnish on most of the fittings, and an absent chipped section on the top left of the buttplate. Stock is very good as re-oiled with scattered dents and scratches, a crack on the right of the barrel channel behind the middle band, a crack ahead of the rear lock screw, chips and an absent section at the top rear of the lock, two small holes on the left of the wrist, and some chips/absent sections around the buttplate tang. Mechanically excellent. A certainly hard to find example of a "US" marked brass mounted Ship Musket with a French lock!

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