COLLECTION: Mechanical Arts & Arms

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"Dutch" Musket

ca. 1730-1740
Origin: Europe, Low Countries
OA: 61 1/4" Barrel: 44" x .81 caliber
Walnut, iron, steel and brass
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1935-210
Classic "Dutch" musket with a round barrel, flat lock, faceted brass mounts. Stock carved with aprons around the sideplate and lock flats, around the barrel tang and along the rammer channel.
Label:As far back as the reign of Henry VIII, Britain sought to solve arms shortages by purchasing all sorts of weapons from the Low Countries. This region, now Belgium and the Netherlands, and its products, were styled "Dutch" by the British during the colonial period. By the middle of the 18th century, the Board of Ordnance had purchased more than 60,000 sets of "Dutch" muskets and bayonets. These cheaply bought second or third-hand arms were of questionably quality, and were relegated to stores at the Tower of London as unfit for use by proper British regiments.

The muskets were, however, thought perfect for use by the colonists. When the French & Indian War broke out in 1754, it was the Dutch arms that were sent to defend British America, including thousands sent to Virginia and North Carolina. Heavily used during the conflict, these ageing firearms were also used during the Revolutionary War. Today, Dutch muskets are very scarce, and are primarily known from the substantive archaeological material recovered at period military sites from the South to Nova Scotia.
Mark(s):Breech struck with a dagger.
Inscription(s):Engraved "No.784" on the top of the barrel between the front sight and the muzzle. Other illegible marks including a "C" are engraved at the breech. A large "N" is engraved on the buttplate between the two screws.