American Assembled Composite Flintlock Musket circa 1790

.75 caliber. 45.25" pinned round barrel. SN: NSN. Oxidized metal, brass furniture, full-length hardwood stock. 7" semi-curved rounded flint lock is weakly marked "FARMER" and is a post-1777 pattern English commercial lock with the short sear spring, resulting in two visible screws behind the cock. Rounded and fenced, unbridled pan with rounded swan neck cock. Lock secured with two screws with a flat S-shaped sheet brass side plate. Trigger with pronounced reward curl at tip. Brass triggerguard of apparent Dutch origin wth heavy construction and a geometric urn shaped finial. Buttplate of the thumbnail tang pattern similar to that utilized by the Continental Armory in Philadelphia during the 1780s, but somewhat heavier. Round brass ramrod pipes with baluster turned rings at the ends are somewhat crude and suggest American-made pieces, again reminiscent of some of the brass furniture being made in Philadelphia during the last years of the American Revolution for use on composite arms being assembled there for use by the Continental Army. The upper pipe has a very small flare at the mouth, but significantly smaller than that found on a post-1777 Pratt's improvement pipe. Barrel with an interesting and uncommon banded reinforcement at the breech and no visible proof marks, suggesting it is of European origin, possibly Dutch and quite possibly from a substantially earlier period than the balance of the gun's parts. The barrel has a small socket bayonet lug on top, 1.75" from the muzzle. The shadow of an older bayonet lug is present under the barrel 1.125" from the muzzle. The stock is heavy and blocky with both Dutch and English influence, again suggesting American production. The typical English palm swell at the entry pipe is significantly reduced from what would be expected on an English gun and the forend itself is much thicker and heavier than it would be on an English musket. The buttstock shape is more continental than English with a pronounced "notch" or sharp termination of the comb and less pronounced rail than on an English or even a French musket, showing more Low Country influence. The stock utilizes no nose cap and extends to within 3.5" of the muzzle. A very rudimentary pointed raised carved apron extends from the rear of the breech plug tang towards the wrist. The somewhat schizophrenic combination of stock features almost certainly indicates American production. Includes an old, likely period button head iron ramrod. From the years immediately leading up to the American Revolution through the early Federal Period in the years immediately after the war, a large number of "composite" muskets were assembled from parts, often reusing older barrels and locks of English, French and Dutch origin and stocking them with American wood and furniture. This appears to be a classic example of just such a gun that is essentially impossible to date with accuracy, but the presence of the post-1777 style "two screw" lock suggests the gun can be no earlier than that, even though the barrel appears to be potentially as much as 50 years older, particularly since it originally had a bottom mounted bayonet lug. These composite muskets are an important part of the story of US military arms and over the years many have been classified as "Committee of Safety Muskets", a term that has been misused to such a degree that its presence in a description almost indicates that the gun is anything but a "Committee of Safety Musket". In fact most arms that are misidentified in this fashion are from the immediate-post Revolutionary period, as this one appears to be. The musket is accompanied by a period socket bayonet that fits perfectly with a 3.34" crudely lap seamed and hammer welded socket with a simple single-step L-mortise cut for a top lug, a 1.6" muzzle to stud distance and a nominally .90" bore diameter. The bayonet has an overall length of 17.625" with a 13.5" blade with a rudimentary 6" fuller and leaf shaped shoulders. The somewhat thin and sweeping neck has a flat face and the ricasso of the blade is marked wth a {CROWN/D+?} with the second letter illegible. The bayonet generally appears to be of Dutch or Low Country origin.

James Farmer (1715-1773) was a steel wares and gun lock maker in both Birmingham and London working circa 1737-1773. He entered into a partnership with Samuel Galton in 1746 which operated as Farmer & Galton until 1778, some 5 years after Farmer's death. Rarely were their products marked with both names, but normally either only "Farmer" or "Galton".


Very good. Metal with a thick, untouched and mostly smooth chocolate brown patina, with some scattered patches of surface oxidation and some pitting here and there. Lock marking very weak and barely discernible except under good light and at the right angle. Lock remains mechanically functional and appears to be in its original flintlock configuration with the barrel appearing to be in original flint as well. The frizzen and steel spring as well as their associated screws are replacements but the cock appears to be original to the lock. The fence has cracked and separated from the rear of the pan. Stock with numerous bumps, dings and mars with a couple of larger dings. The forend shows some minor cracks near the end of the stock, due to the lack of a nose cap. Buttplate tang not well inlet to stock and secured by two screws in the butt. Otherwise the stock is solid and free of any breaks or major repairs. 

Estimate: $5,000 - $8,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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