Page 95 - Auction84-Book2
P. 95

  LOT 1211
Documented Civil War Era Engraved William Billinghurst Percussion Sharpshooter/Target Rifle with Scope - NSN, 40 cal., 31 inch octagon bbl., brown/casehardened finish, walnut stock. This rifle is featured on page 429 of “American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume 3: Flintlock Alterations and Muzzleloading Percussion Shoulder Arms, 1840-1865” by George Moller as an example of the rifles made by William B. Billinghurst of Rochester, New York, and used by Civil War sharpshooters. Moller notes, “The majority of sharpshooters’ telescopic rifles used in the Civil War by Union forces were privately owned arms brought into service by their owners when they entered federal or state military service. Sharpshooters’ telescopic rifles became legend as snipers equipped with these rifles in fixed positions not uncommonly dealt death to the enemy at ranges exceeding 800 yards.” The heavy barrel is marked “W. BILLINGHURST/ROCHESTER. NY.” on top, “2” on the lower right, and “CAST STEEL” on the lower left and is mounted with a full-length scope with rear mount marked “R. HASKELL/PAINESVILLE O.” The other metal components have scroll engraving. The upper tang has a second empty scope/sight mounting tap probably used for a peep sight. An oval “crown/AF” (Auguste Francotte) and a “2T” marking are inside the lock. The rifle has an adjustable single set trigger. The included false muzzle and brass starter are unmarked. “GDM” is lightly marked by the toe. CONDITION: Very fine as professionally restored with nearly all of the brown and casehardened finishes remaining, some mild pitting on the bottom of the barrel in the ramrod groove, and generally minor overall wear. The stock is fine and has a crack on the left side at the junction with the frame, mild scratches and dings, and minor edge wear. The optics are functional but would benefit from cleaning. Mechanically excellent. Provenance: The George Moller Collection. Estimate: 5,500 - 8,500 LOT 1212 George O. Leonard Half-Stock Percussion Target Rifle with 1868 Dated Altmaeir Marked Brass Tube Sight - Serial no. 236, 45 cal., 30 1/8 inch octagon bbl., brown/casehardened finish, walnut stock. Rifle by George O. Leonard of Keene,
New Hampshire, c. 1868. The barrel is numbered “236” on the muzzle which is turned down for a starter and on the upper left at the breech along with a faint “CAST-STEEL” marking, and the upper left flat is also marked “GEO. O. LEONARD/KEENE N.H./CAST-STEEL.” The forend is pewter, and the rest of the furniture is steel/iron, including the capbox which has an eagle shaped finial and the toeplate which has a Swiss style finial. The rifle is equipped with nearly full-length brass tube sight with keyhole front aperture, post front sight, round rear aperture, and “PA ALTMAIER HARRISBURG, PA.1868” on top and the same minus “1868” on the rear cap. The sight is fitted in a dovetailed mount near the muzzle and an elevation adjustable rear mount threaded into the upper tang. The rifle has adjustable double set triggers. CONDITION: Very good with fading brown finish and gray and brown patina along the barrel along with some small dings, mostly smooth gray patina on the lock and furniture, some minor pitting, and generally minor overall wear. The stock is also fine and has smooth reapplied oiled finish, a faint crack extending back from the rear of the right wedge escutcheon, small chip under the hammer, and some minor flakes/ slivers absent from the edges. Mechanically excellent. Estimate: 1,800 - 2,750 LOT 1213 Engraved A. Leonard Half-Stock Percussion Target Rifle - NSN, 38 cal., 31 1/2 inch octagon bbl., blue/casehardened finish. The barrel is marked “A. LEONARD/CAST STEEL/S.R. V.t.” indicating this rifle was built by Artemas Leonard of Saxton’s River, Vermont, c. 1840-1859. Some of his rifles have been attributed to Union sharpshooters. It has a “WARREN/& STEELE/ALBANY” back action lock like multiple other known Leonard rifles. The barrel, lock, and German silver furniture have scroll engraving. The barrel is equipped with a globe front sight, and a peep sight is threaded into the upper tang. There are silver accents as part of an old repair in the wrist. The latter is checkered, and there is a cheek rest on the left side of the stock. The muzzle has four holes for use with a false muzzle. It is not designed to carry a ramrod. CONDITION: Fine with 60% thin original finish mixed with smooth brown patina long the barrel, light case colors on the lock, spots of minor surface oxidation, attractive aged patina on the German silver furniture, dark aged patina on the silver on the wrist, and rather light overall wear. The reoiled stock is very good and has minor wear in the otherwise crisp checkering, a faint repaired crack in the wrist (appears period as noted above), small crack at the toe, the common tension cracks at the breech, and a few minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. Overall, a very attractive antebellum target rifle from the northeast. Estimate: 1,300 - 1,900
LOT 1214
Engraved George O. Leonard Percussion Over/Under Combination Rifle and Shotgun - NSN, 38 cal., 32 1/4 inch round bbl., brown/ casehardened finish, walnut stock. Manufactured c. 1860s by George O. Leonard at his shop in Keene, New Hampshire. It features a blade front and adjustable notch rear sights on the .38 caliber rifled upper barrel which is marked “GEO. O. LEONARD KEENE N.H.” The lower barrel is approximately 12 gauge smoothbore. The upper tang has a tap for a now absent peep sight. A ramrod for the shotgun barrel is fitted along the right side, and a smaller rod for the rifled barrel is along the left. The locks are marked “Wm READ & SON./BOSTON” and have scroll and border engraving. The left lock has an extension added to the hammer to reach the nipple for the shotgun barrel. The furniture is brass. The stock has a cheekrest on the left and a capbox with a stag finial on the right. CONDITION: Very good with mix of fading original brown finish and brown patina on the barrels, mostly gray-brown patina on the locks, some mild pitting on the hammers and breech ends, attractive aged patina on the furniture, and mild overall wear. The stock is also fine and has most of the finish remaining, some dings and scratches, and mild edge wear. Mechanically fine. Estimate: 1,100 - 1,600

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