May 06, 2020 10:00 AM EDT Cincinnati


1

New Hampshire Marked Modified French Charleville Model 1774 Flintlock Musket with Bayonet

.69 caliber, 42.125" barrel, no S/N. Bright finish, smooth walnut stock with 3 flat bands retained by springs to their rears. Overall length 57.125". 6.3125" flat beveled iron lock with convex face at rear of hammer and removable rounded, fenced and bridled iron pan. Rounded reinforced cock with heart-shaped cut out. Lock appears to be in original flint configuration and is marked in script in two lines: Manufacture / de St. Etienne. Breech plug tang unmarked, deep NH (New Hampshire) ownership stamps are present in the upper left quadrant of the breech, on the left breech flat and in the obverse stock. Barrel appears to be in original flint configuration as well, with a moderately oxidized, well placed touchhole that is obviously tapered. Toe of stock stamped in block letters C. ANNIN. Reverse of stock with oval maker's or inspector's name cartouche that is illegible. Obverse stock carved No 1 II and with the initials MW. Reverse carved with the initials EH. Ramrod retention spring in lower barrel band, trumpet head ramrod with threads removed at end, bayonet lug located 2" from muzzle under the barrel. Sling swivels mounted on stud forward of triggerguard and middle barrel bands. Includes a French Model 1771 socket bayonet that has been modified with a three-step mortise and cut for a top bayonet lug with a 1.4375 muzzle to stud distance. Original short mortise cut for a French 1771 bottom mounted bayonet lug in place as well. Bayonet marked in two lines on the face, near the shank: I. FRANCOIS / BRVON with a small fleur-de-lis.

An interesting post-Revolutionary War French musket that appears to have been arsenal modified and repaired. While the lock is from the 1770/1, 1773 or 1774 pattern of arms, the short 11" triggerguard is of the 1774 pattern, the barrel is a shortened Model 1770/71 or 1773 as it has an anti-rotational stud on the bottom, a feature eliminated on the Model 1774. The stock has band springs located behind all three bands, a feature not introduced until the Model 1774, as the rear bands of the earlier patterns were friction retailed. Many of the earlier 1770/71 and 1773 muskets were later upgraded by adding a retention spring to the rear of the lower band. This one appears somewhat crudely cut into the stock, suggesting a modification of an older stock, but the correctly fitting shorter triggerguard that was not adopted until the M1774 indicates this is a 1774 stock. The lower barrel band also includes the ramrod retention spring of the M1774.  The belief is that this is an arsenal repaired or refurbished French musket with an older pattern barrel used to replace the otherwise damaged or non-functional M1774 barrel. As noted, the barrel has been shortened roughly 2".

The NH markings are not consistent with the Revolutionary War period markings that used a conjoined NH along with a battalion number (1-3) and the gun's number. These markings are likely from the Federal Period. No New Hampshire markings are present on the bayonet, although some examples are known with New Hampshire markings and similar mortise modifications to allow the bayonet to be used on different patterns of muskets. An interesting, post-revolutionary War period arsenal modified French M1774 with apparently legitimate New Hampshire ownership marks from the period before or during the War of 1812.

Condition:

Very good. Metal lightly cleaned with a medium pewter patina and scattered light surface oxidation. Markings in metal clear, less clear in wood but mostly legible. Mechanically functional, moderately oxidized bore is rusty and dirty. Wood with scattered bumps, dings and mars. Bayonet good to very good.

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$3,480
05/06/2020

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