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Shortened American Fur Company Marked Flintlock Northwest Trade Gun by Chance

.58 caliber. 22.25" three-stage pinned octagon to round barrel with baluster turned rings at the transitions. SN: NSN. Bright finish now heavily oxidized, iron and brass furniture, walnut stock. Lock marked in two vertical arcs at the tail "W. CHANCE/& SON" and with the sunken "tombstone" "{FOX}/IA" mark of the American Fur Company under the pan. Top flat of barrel marked "LONDON" with another American Fur Company mark and a pair of pre-1813 Birmingham proof marks. Obverse butt with weak "fox in a circle" mark. Pointed-tail lock remains in original flint configuration with a rounded swan-neck cock, bridled and fenced rounded iron pan and wonderfully period re-faced frizzen. Typical trade gun features of the period include the oversized iron triggerguard, serpentine brass side plate in the form of a dragon and raised carved moldings around the breech plug tang, the rear of the lock mortise and the counterpane. The gun was shortened during the period of use to carbine length, with the barrel somewhat crudely cut back between 10" and 15" from its original full length and all but one ramrod pipe removed. The buttplate was removed as well, with the butt now slightly rounded and showing moderate wear due to long use without the buttplate in place. A small number of old, square shanked holes in the obverse butt suggest that at one time the gun was decorated with a few tacks. William Chance was listed as a "merchant" in Birmingham from 1777 through 1780, then doing business as Chance & Homer and finally as William Chance & Son(s) from 1812-1821. The pre-1813 Birmingham proofs, combined with the lock markings date this gun rather narrowly to about 1812-1813 production. A really attractive, if hard used, Native trade gun from the American Fur Company that is well worn and completely honest and that dates from the period of the War of 1812.

Provenance:The Collection of Larry Ness

Condition:

Good. Metal is heavily oxidized with moderate amounts of surface roughness and scattered pitting. Markings remain mostly clear and legible. Lock remains in original flint and is essentially functional, but will not hold at half cock due to tumbler wear. Bore heavily oxidized. Wood worn with the expected imperfections for a 200 year old native used gun and shows scattered bumps, dings and mars. The stock also shows some impact marks, chipped wood loss around the tang and along both sides of the forend at the barrel junctions and a couple of non-structural minor cracks. Overall a really attractive and completely honest trade gun.

Starting Price: $1,500
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
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