Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3320: Henry Harrington Percussion Volley Gun

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Extremely Scarce Henry Harrington Percussion Volley Gun

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,500 - $11,000

Extremely Scarce Henry Harrington Percussion Volley Gun

Manufacturer: H. Harrington
Model: Volley
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 36
Barrel: 24 1/2 inch cluster
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 420
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 172
Class: Antique

Offered here is an extremely scarce volley gun manufactured by Henry Harrington of Southbridge, Massachusetts. Harrington received a patent for this design in 1837 and produced both volley gun pistols and long guns. Today, his pistols are more commonly encountered than his long guns. Total production has been estimated at only 75 long guns of which no more than a dozen are known to have survived. Five of these arms are known to be in private hands with the remaining examples at the Old Sturbridge Village Museum in Sturbridge, MA. An extremely scarce gun for the private collector! The rifle features a floral scroll engraved lock plate by Lane & Read of Boston. The hammer has matching engraving. This type of action configuration is not present on any of the guns that make up the Old Sturbridge Village Museum collection; instead, the hammer is mounted directly to the frame as there is not a lock plate. For reference, see the museum's firearms via its online collections web page. This volley gun also lacks the Harrington patent marks found on other specimens. The gun is built around seven individual barrels set into a brass support tube at the breech as well as in a cap at the muzzle, wrapped in wire and leather and coated with varnish in order to make up a single barrel group. The single breech is removable for loading and is marked "H H/P" on the underside. A pendulum type breech release is located on the underside of the frame. When the release swings to the right, the breech is unlocked and the user then removes it through the top of the frame, making for a quick and easy loading/unloading process. A single percussion nipple fires all seven rounds at once. Additional floral scroll engraving appears on the buttplate tang, German silver trigger guard with spur, upper tang, breech and frame. The straight grip stock is fitted with a smooth German silver shotgun type buttplate. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Very good. The barrel cluster remains tightly wrapped, and much of the original varnish remains. The action has a mottled bright appearance. The engraving is crisp overall. The muzzle cap has a smooth dark patina. The brass support at the breech has a mixed patina. The German silver is very fine. The stock is also fine with some chipping at the lock and some minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. An extremely scarce and interesting American percussion volley gun rarely seen in private hands.

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