William L. Hudson Sr. (1812-1861) of Wales immigrated in 1837, became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1848, and worked in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a gunmaker and gunsmith in the antebellum era and beginning of the Civil War and is particularly known for his Turner percussion rifles and "BAHN FREI" (clear the way) marked bayonets. The muzzle is recessed for use with a starter, and the barrel has a globe front sight and "W.L. HUDSON. CIN. O." signature hand inscribed on top. The patent breech has an extended tang with a threaded "lolly-pop" style peep sight fitted towards the rear and fine scroll engraving. The lock and spurred German silver trigger guard have matching scroll engraving. The lock is secured by two wood screws and is fired by an adjustable single set trigger. The forend cap is pewter. The wedge escutcheons are German silver. The stock has attractive flame figure and a distinctive saw-handle profile and rounded grip. The back of the wrist has a slotted iron plate, and another slot is through the trigger guard tang. The included finely figured buttstock has a piece of iron that passes through the slots and is then secured by a simple wedge converting the pistol into a buggy rifle. Given the sights, the gun is most likely primarily intended to be used with the shoulder stock attached. The re-purposed antique dovetailed case has a "J.J. McMaken/Hamilton, Ohio" label and a pinned Christmas card inside the lid and includes a key.
Fine. The barrel retains 40% of the bright original blue finish and has a mix of smooth gray and brown patina on the balance. The breech and upper tang retain 70% of the original case colors, and the lock has strong case colors on and under the hammer. There is some mild pitting on the bolster. The pistol stock and shoulder stock are also very good and have attractive flame figure, glossy varnish, mild scratches and dings, some chipping at the toe and leading edge of the wrist of the shoulder stock, and general minor wear. Mechanically fine. The case is very good with mild age and storage related wear. Overall, a very attractive and rare set.
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