Page 115 - Auction84-Book1
P. 115

 LOT 233
Rare Crimean War Czarist Russian Contract Colt Drum Bolster Alteration U.S. Springfield Model 1840 Rifled Musket with Bayonet - NSN, 69 cal., 42 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut stock. This is an attractive example of a rare Springfield Model 1840 flintlock musket altered with Colt’s patented drum bolster and rifled under Czarist Russian contract with intent for use during the Crimean War. These Colt drum bolster alteration muskets are described on pages 102-103 of George D. Moller’s book “American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume III”. A similar example is pictured on page 102 next to the caption, “The outer end of the cylindrical nipple bolster of Colt altered muskets are marked ‘Colt’s Patent’ and it has a cleanout screw. The muskets were also equipped with a rear sight similar to some contemporary Germanic muskets.” The same page states, “The Russians required arms because of their involvement in the Crimean War in the mid-1850s. Russian arms expert Captain Otto Lilienfeld was sent to procure muskets in the United States. On July 12, 1855, Lilienfeld contracted with Colt to deliver 50,000 percussion- altered smooth-bored muskets by April 28, 1856. The Crimean War ended with the Treaty of Paris of March 30, 1856. Two months after the contract’s April 28 delivery deadline, the Russians notified Colt that he had breached the contract and it was canceled. Colt’s subsequent attempts to obtain compensation were in vain.” After the Russian incident, Colt attempted to interest the Ottoman and Italian governments in these muskets, claiming he had 25,000 on hand. Page 102 of the book goes on to state, “Nothing further is known regarding the fate of these muskets. Some students of American military shoulder arms believe that small quantities of these muskets were purchased by individual militia companies during the Civil War. There is some evidence that some may have been purchased by the state of Rhode Island.” An example of one of these muskets is pictured on pages 176 and 203 of “The Book of Colt Firearms” by R. L. Wilson. It is not known how many of these muskets were actually completed or delivered by Colt, but their extreme scarcity today lends evidence to the fact that the numbers were only a very small fraction of what the original Czarist Russian contract called for. Features all blue finished surfaces done at the time of the Colt alteration, four-groove rifling, tall blade front sight on the forward strap of the front barrel band and fully adjustable leaf rear sight, an “eagle/US” mark is at the center of the lock and “1854” on the tail of the lock over top of where the original Springfield markings used to be before resurfacing at the time of the Colt alteration, “V/P/eagle head” (eagle head partial) proofs on the left of the breech, “1854” dated barrel tang, faint outline of an oval inspection cartouche on the left stock flat, and “US” marked buttplate tang. “GDM” (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a socket bayonet and reproduction leather sling. CONDITION: Fine, exhibiting mostly smooth brown patina with strong traces of Colt refinished fiery blue finish on the sights and in protected areas, scattered light freckling and a few areas of light pitting. Stock is also fine with scattered dents, chips, scratches, a crack ahead of the rear lock screw, and a repaired section beneath the lock. Mechanically excellent. Included bayonet is very good with some scattered patches of light pitting. These Colt altered rifled muskets are very rarely seen today, and are the missing piece to any advanced Colt or U.S. Martial collection! Provenance: The George Moller Collection. Estimate: 3,500 - 5,500
LOT 234
Scarce Documented Civil War J. P. Moore’s Sons Short Enfield Pattern Percussion Rifle - NSN, 58 cal., 35 bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut stock. This rifle is one of only approximately 999 procured by the U.S. government in 1862 and is featured as part of the “Moore ‘Short Enfield’ Rifle” section on pages 414-417 of “American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume III” by George Moller and has his small collection marking by the toe. These rifles were built in New York by John P. Moore’s Sons to fulfill U.S. government contracts early in the Civil War and are desirable “American Enfields.” This rifle has a “barleycorn” style blade front sight, a sword bayonet lug on the right, notch and folding ladder rear sight, “ETU” marking near the breech, “67”
and/or “30” marked on most of the components, two barrel bands, “1861” and eagle and “M” marked shield maker’s mark on the lock, a black leather sling fitted to the swivels on the upper barrel band and tail of the trigger guard, and “16” on the left stock flat. CONDITION: Good with mostly gray and brown patina on the iron, mild pitting at the breech, aged patina on the brass furniture, and mild overall wear. The refinished stock is also good and has mild scratches and dings, several thin cracks, a few splotches of paint, and minor flakes. Mechanically fine. A rare “American Enfield” that will add depth and interest to any Civil War collection. Provenance: The George Moller Collection. Estimate: 2,250 - 3,750
LOT 235
Royal Wurttemberg Gun Factory Wild Model 1843 Baden Percussion Jaeger Rifle - NSN, 68 cal., 29 9/16 inch octagon bbl., bright finish, walnut stock. This rifle utilizes a rare form of rifling designed by the Swiss engineer and infantry officer Johannes Wild (1814-1894). Wild’s rifling system was able to achieve a high level of accuracy through an ideal combination of barrel profile, twist, wadding thickness, and caliber, and it also utilized a self-cleaning system through the use of water in the bore. A special small bottle, also designed by Wild, used a device that functions by pressing against the muzzle in order to release exactly the required amount of water down the bore. This use of “water injection” loosened leftover powder residue in the barrel from the previous shot in order to allow the next loaded ball to clean out the bore when the shot was fired. This allowed more than one-hundred shots to be fired without having to clean the bore; an unorthodox solution to a problem with previous rifles before Wild’s invention. The rifle could be fired quickly in part due its ability to be easily loaded and fired without the use of grease. In early 1840s trials held in Baden and Hesse, Wild’s rifle was able to fire thirty rounds within fourteen minutes during the “speed shooting trial” with twenty-nine successful hits. The Grand Duchy of Baden (southwest corner of Germany next to Switzerland and France) together with the states of Hesse-Darmstadt and Wurttemberg adopted the Wild rifle for service in 1843. This example is “1843” dated (last digit faint) on the right of the buttstock and features a right side mounted bayonet bar for use with a sword bayonet, blade front and dovetail mounted fixed V notch rear sight. “KOENIG/WURTT. FABRIK” marked at the center of the lock, short for Koeniglich Wurttembergische Gewehrfabrik or Royal Wurttemberg Gun Factory. “40” behind a sunken oval proof marked on the top left flat of the breech end of the barrel and “OBERNDORF” marked on the top flat at the breech. “GDM” (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Includes a ball pulling tool in the patchbox. Most of these were converted to the Minié system in the 1850s with five-groove rifling, which makes this a scarce example today in that it retains its original fourteen-groove Wild rifling. CONDITION: Very good, exhibiting mostly smooth brown patina with scattered light pitting and crisp lock markings. Stock is also very good with scattered scratches and dents and a mild chip at the left of the buttplate. Mechanically excellent. Provenance: The George Moller Collection. Estimate: 2,250 - 3,500
       Collector’s Fact
One of approximately only 999 purchased by the U.S. Government.

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