In the 1840s, some of the world's best target rifles and pistols were manufactured in the New England shop of Edwin Wesson (1811-1849), older brother of fellow gunmakers Daniel Baird Wesson (1825-1906) of Smith & Wesson fame and Franklin Wesson (1828-1899). Both Daniel and Franklin had a hand in making these rifles since they were both trained by their older brother. Daniel also briefly produced these rifles after Edwin's untimely demise from a heart attack in 1849. The top barrel flat two-line, two block "E. WESSON/HARTFORD CT" and "CAST STEEL/604" marking is flanked by eagles and is located behind the rear sight. The barrel is fitted with a false muzzle which is marked "CLARK'S/PATENT/506." The rifle is fitted with a globe front sight, an elevation adjustable rear sight and a lollipop tang peep sight. The action is fitted with double set triggers. The spur trigger guard, patch box and buttplate are German silver and are deluxe engraved with floral and border patterns. The most impressive engraving is featured on the patch box with large ornate finial and the well executed engraving includes a large, finely detailed American eagle. Engraved floral patterns extend to the frame, hammer and upper tang. A stand of flags and arms is engraved on the left side of the frame. A large German silver oval on the left side of the nicely figured walnut buttstock is decorated with a running dog. The ornate patchbox is on the right side of the buttstock. The number "30" is stamped on the underside of the frame. Provenance: The Dan Schlegel Collection, The Cletus Klein Collection, and Among the Award-Winning Display - NRA Annual Meeting 2011 Pittsburgh, PA
Fine. The barrel retains 50% of its attractive original blue-brown finish with some light pagination. The frame retains moderate patterns of original case colors, otherwise aged to an untouched pleasing case-gray color. The German silver is very fine. The engraving is crisp. The otherwise fine stock is cracked at the left heel, otherwise minor dings and handling marks. A solid, well cared for example of a percussion target rifle built by Edwin Wesson and his brothers, one of the most revered American muzzleloading gunsmith.