Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 147: Revolutionary War Era German Hessian Type Flintlock Jaeger Rifle

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Rare Revolutionary War Era German Hessian Type Flintlock Jaeger Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,000 - $9,000

Rare Revolutionary War Era German Hessian Type Flintlock Jaeger Rifle

Manufacturer: German
Model: Jaeger
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 62
Barrel: 29 inch octagon
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1288
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 79
Class: Antique

This German Jaeger rifle is visually similar to examples attributed as having been used by Hessians during the Revolutionary War. The Hessians consisted of approximately 30,000 German troops hired by the British to fight against the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and a rifle such as this one could have possibly seen use with the Hesse-Hanau Freicorps, a group of elite soldiers skilled in the art of hunting. This early example has a right side mounted lock bar for a sword bayonet, of which it is believed the Hesse-Hanau Freicorps were the only unit of the Revolutionary War to use jaeger rifles equipped for use with sword bayonets (reference page 64 of the book, "British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840" by De Witt Bailey). These short large caliber rifles were well suited for use in the woods with accuracy at long ranges, especially in the hands of the skilled German sharpshooters carrying them. Features seven-groove rifling, an iron ramrod, dovetail mounted brass blade front sight, flip-up V notch rear sight, and brass fittings. The lock is completely unmarked. Raised letters "V•H" in a sunken rectangle and "XXXXXVI" assembly marks underneath of the side plate. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a later leather sling, tools and extra flints in the patchbox. Reference page 226 of George C. Neumann's book "Battle Weapons of the American Revolution" for a similar example pictured. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Very good with smooth brown patina on the barrel, scattered light to moderate pitting overall, and gray/brown patina on the lock. Brass retains an attractive golden aged patina. Stock is also very good with numerous scattered scratches and dents evident of period use, a crack on the left behind the tip of the forend, a chip on the left around the rear barrel retaining pin, a crack ahead of the lock, and some chips on the front of the patchbox door. Mechanically excellent. As a rare example of a jaeger rifle attributed to use by one of the earliest elite sharpshooter units, this would make for a prized centerpiece in any early martial or Revolutionary War era collection!

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