Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 167: 1794 U.S. Contract Musket with Ketland "UNITED STATES" Flintlock

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Very Scarce 1794 U.S. Contract Flintlock Musket with Ketland "UNITED STATES" Marked Lock and Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,500 - $4,000

Very Scarce 1794 U.S. Contract Flintlock Musket with Ketland "UNITED STATES" Marked Lock and Bayonet

Manufacturer: Ketland
Model: Flintlock
Type: Musket
Gauge: 69
Barrel: 44 5/8 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 661
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 85
Class: Antique

1794 U.S. contract muskets were manufactured utilizing a mix of American-made and foreign parts and generally resemble the French Model 1766 muskets; some of these 1794 muskets were equipped with these Ketland "UNITED STATES" marked locks, and others were equipped with French Model 1766 locks. These 1794 U.S. contract muskets equipped with Ketland locks are described on pages 132-135 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume II" in which states on page 132, "The locks were purchased with the same 1794 congressional appropriation as the muskets and the other components procured during this period. These locks are sometimes the only identifying feature of otherwise-unmarked muskets attributed to 1794 U.S. contracts." Page 133 has a similar example pictured next to the caption, "Because this musket is equipped with a Ketland 'UNITED STATES' lock imported in 1797, and because it does not have barrel proof marks (which are believed to have been used starting in mid-1799), this musket is attributed to manufacture under the 1794 U.S. contract sometime in the 1797 to mid-1798 period." It has a top mounted bayonet stud and brass blade front sight mounted on the rear strap of the front barrel band, sunken oval "eagle head/P" proof on the left of the breech, a partial "US" on top of the breech, "UNITED/STATES" marked vertically at the tail of the lock, "KETLAND" marked on the inside of the lock, and a small "x" above a large "V" marked on the left stock flat indicating this musket was made in either Maryland or Pennsylvania and originally delivered to Schuylkill Arsenal. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a period leather sling and socket bayonet marked "CM*" on the blade. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Good with mostly bright surfaces, some scattered light pitting on the barrel and fittings, scattered moderate pitting on the lock, and nice lock markings. Stock is good as sanded and re-oiled with scattered dents and scratches, numerous chips including some ahead of the left flat and behind the barrel tang, numerous cracks including around the bands and behind the lock, an absent section at the right tip of the forend, and slightly undersized at the buttstock. Mechanically excellent. Included bayonet is fair with scattered mild pitting. The sling is very good. A very scarce 1794 U.S. contract musket that would make a fine addition to any U.S. martial collection!

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