Commercial musket with a flat lock
Origin: Great Britain, Birmingham
OA: 62 7/8" Lockplate: 7 1/4" x 1 1/16" Barrel: 47 1/16" x .80 caliber
Iron, steel, brass and wood (ash)
Acc. No. 1982-11
Plain round-barreled musket made without a sideplate, tail pipe or sideplate. Its flat bridle-less lock of "sea service" form has a double-throated cock and is secured by three sidenails. The stock ends a few inches short of the muzzle to accommodate a bayonet with a nominally 4" socket. Its triggerguard, rammer pipes and buttplate are of sheet brass, the latter of which is secured by 8 iron nails.
Label:Military muskets of many different sorts were available for sale in early 18th century Britain. At one end of the spectrum were the well-finished pieces built with all the best mechanical and structural features available. On the other end were cheap muskets like this one. True, it would fire a musket ball just the same as a far-more expensive "Brown Bess" type musket, but it wouldn't last nearly as long in service. Lightly built, this piece omits many of the features found on better arms, such as a sideplate, triggerplate and a tail pipe. Furthermore, it was built with a functionally inferior bridleless lock. A few decades after this musket was made, more robust versions of this general form were made for service in the Royal Navy.
Provenance:From the collection of Lewis H. Gordon, Jr. Possibly from the armoury at Ashburnham Place, East Sussex, which was sold during the early 1950s.
Mark(s):Barrel struck with Birmingham private proofs at breech, consisting of a "Crown P" and a "Crown V," both within an oval cartouche. The weapon number "31" is also punched into the breech.