Flintlock Northwest Trade Gun by Tryon

.69 caliber. 41" three-stage pinned octagon to round barrel with baluster-turned rings at the transitions. SN: NSN. Bright finish, brass furniture, walnut stock. Slightly rounded flint lock in the form of late 18th or early 19th century English locks is marked "TRYON" vertically at the tail and "PHILADA" along the bottom edge. The lock appears to be in original flint, with an interestingly and apparently period fenced pan unlike those used on American military muskets of the period, which show old brass brazing compound on the interior where the pan was applied to the bolster, but all of the age and patina is so consistent it appears to be period work. This begs the question, was Tryon repurposing old musket parts or even condemned musket parts to produce their trade guns? The .69 caliber barrel and beefier "musket type" stock that has been rudimentarily slimmed to make it more "trade gun" like. This suggests an attempt to use parts already on hand, or that Tryon was being their trade guns of this era on guns they were already set up to produce. The top flat of the barrel is marked "TRYON/PHILADA" in two lines. The gun retains the classic Northwest Trade Gun characteristics of the serpent side plate, overly large iron triggerguard, corrugated brass ramrod pipes and a flat brass buttplate. A simplified version of the raised carved apron and finial is present around the breech plug tang, but has been eliminated at the tail of the lock mortise and counterpane. As mentioned, however, this is all scaled up to "musket size" in the traditional "trade gun" form. An interesting oval copper inlay is present in the reverse of the butt depicting a crowd of men and women passing a man on a raised platform who is gesticulating and possibly preaching, as the people pass in couples. The meaning of which is unclear. However, Tryon was known for applying copper decorations of all types in the production of their arms. Oval brass escutcheons surround the pins on both side of the forend and a wood ramrod is secured by the thimbles. The forend utilizes a thin sheet brass reinforcement at the nose much like those found on the Leman-made Northwest Trade Guns. The Tryon gunmaking family went into business in Philadelphia circa 1811 and remained in that business through two generations until 1872. They received their first Bureau of Indian Affairs contract in 1832 and filled a number of contacts for both "Rifles" and "Northwest Guns" through 1855 with a total of 2,100 rifles and 5,522 Northwest guns delivered. An interesting and rather scarce variation on the Northwest trade gun theme from a major Philadelphia maker.

Provenance:The Collection of Larry Ness


Very good. Metal with a mottled and oxidized brownish-gray patina and showing some evenly distributed pitting on the barrel and lock. Markings remain clear, lock remains mechanically functional, bore is heavily oxidized and pitted. Stock shows moderate wear with some chipped loss around the butt and some slivering along the upper edge of the forend.

Estimate: $6,000 - $10,000

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