20 gauge, 42.25" octagon to round barrel, S/N 233. Browned barrel, brass furniture and smooth straight gripped perch-belly hardwood stock. Under hammer percussion ignition, top of receiver marked in five lines: SMITH'S / IMPROVED / PATENT / STUD / LOCK. Skeletonized brass pistol-grip triggergauard, brass buttplate and lock screw escutcheons, small lozenge shaped brass plate in reverse stock. Rear sight numbered 233. Includes a wooden ramrod with a brass tip. Nicanor Kendall (1807-1861) was a gunsmith who worked in Windsor, VT ca1835-1849 producing under hammer guns that were actually manufactured by inmates at the Vermont State Prison. From 1835-38 he worked as Kendall, Hubbard & Smith, from 1838-42 as N. Kendall & Co and then in 1842 joined the venture of Robbins, Kendall & Lawrence which would eventually become Robbins & Lawrence. Robbins, Kendall & Lawrence was one of the first contractors to produce US Model 1841 "Mississippi" Rifles for the US Government and would go on to produce a wide array of arms during the 1840s and 1850s, including the early arms of Christian Sharps. Early Nicanor Kendall guns from the State Prison manufacturing era are quite scarce and very collectible. While his under hammer rifles appear on the market from time to time, the fowlers, or "smooth rifles" are much less common.
Very good. Retains some of the browned finish mixed with a plum patina and some scattered surface oxidation. Some moderate pitting is present around the breech area and on the hammer. Markings remain legible, mechanically functional, moderately oxidized bore with scattered pitting. Stock good with an old U-shaped crack at the wrist running from the rear of the tang down towards the triggerguard area. Otherwise showing scattered bumps, dings, mars and surface scuffs.
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