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“English Lock” Infantry Musket

ca. 1640-1660
Origin: England
Barrel: 42 1/2" Lock: 8"
Beech, iron and steel
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1992-54
English-lock musket with oil-finished stock of English ash. Stock hardware includes a simple iron butt plate secured with four square-headed nails; a simple iron trigger guard 7.5 inches overall, with a spoon-shaped bow and spear-point finials; two sheet iron bands near the muzzle, one serving as a ramrod thimble and the other as a stock reinforcement at the muzzle-end. The 42.5 inch barrel is 1.5 inches thick at the remaining length. A 1637 English proof and view marks appear on the left top barrel flat, plus a maker's mark -- an IB surmounted by an unidentifiable animal likeness. The "English Lock" is 8 inches in length and bears no maker's mark.
Label:Improving on the earlier “snaphaunce” muskets by introducing a combined pan cover and steel (commonly called a frizzen), Britain’s first true flintlock muskets were vastly better than the matchlocks which were still in use. Peculiar to England, these distinctive locks have an “S” shaped cock, a “dog” safety catch which engages the tip of the cock’s tail and a “buffer” which prevents it from moving too far forward when fired. The English locks recovered by archaeologists in Williamsburg may be the remnants of muskets once kept at Middle Plantation’s magazine.
Provenance:Ex collection; Harold L. Peterson and Lawrence V. Bowly
Mark(s):London Gunmaker's Company "Proof" & "View" marks struck into breech, along with the maker's mark of "IB" surmounted by a rooster(?), within an oval cartouche.