Author Topic: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun  (Read 896 times)

Offline Mattox Forge

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« on: May 31, 2023, 02:36:42 AM »
The guard and barrel point to a 1775ish date. Tower or Birmingham private proofs. The lock looks off. I would not expect a high chested, narrow jaw hammer and a short sear spring lock to be originally paired with that particular barrel and guard. The lock actually looks more like a 20th century replacement. The stock looks later as well.

https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/a-14-bore-flintlock-english-birding-gun-unsigned--402-c-3364909a16?objectID=179292218&algIndex=upcoming_lots_prod&queryID=3ca1dd43a559c3a8ba4685f49b289f87

Expert thoughts? I am just practicing since I need to calibrate my historical eye.

Mike

Offline rich pierce

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18284
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2023, 03:13:52 AM »
Iím well out of my element with dating English guns but these things look more like 1800 to me:
Stock architecture has no extension of the writing at back through the buttstock. Thereís just an inlay for the rear lock bolt, and the lock styling looks late with a big diameter roller on frizzen.
Andover, Vermont

Offline JV Puleo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 864
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2023, 04:25:49 PM »
It's fine though I doubt it is as early as 1775...I'd be guessing more like 1790.
All of the "features" we associate with dating were introduced incrementally over time. They are not hard & fast rules and are only valuable for dating in the most general way. Some of them, like bridles, are almost worthless in themselves since cheap locks continued to be made without them well into the 19th century.

Offline Mike Brooks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12729
    • Mike Brooks Gunmaker
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2023, 04:30:27 PM »
Good golly, that lock looks just like the one on Feltwads gun in his prematurely locked down thread.
https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=76852.0
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Mike Brooks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12729
    • Mike Brooks Gunmaker
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2023, 04:35:15 PM »
The guard and barrel point to a 1775ish date. Tower or Birmingham private proofs. The lock looks off. I would not expect a high chested, narrow jaw hammer and a short sear spring lock to be originally paired with that particular barrel and guard. The lock actually looks more like a 20th century replacement. The stock looks later as well.

https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/a-14-bore-flintlock-english-birding-gun-unsigned--402-c-3364909a16?objectID=179292218&algIndex=upcoming_lots_prod&queryID=3ca1dd43a559c3a8ba4685f49b289f87

Expert thoughts? I am just practicing since I need to calibrate my historical eye.

Mike
I'd date that gun 1800-1810. I honestly don't know what to make of either of these locks, I have never seen anything like them on a British gun before. If I had to make a wild guess, I'd say they were converted back to flint by the same guy with the same parts.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Mattox Forge

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 332
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2023, 05:13:34 PM »
I'd date that gun 1800-1810. I honestly don't know what to make of either of these locks, I have never seen anything like them on a British gun before. If I had to make a wild guess, I'd say they were converted back to flint by the same guy with the same parts.
I thought the same thing. The cock is completely without engraving, which is uncharacteristic for originals. The shape is very  odd as well. It is similar to the later fllintlock period, but it is off in its shape.

Mike

Offline Feltwad

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 848
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2023, 06:04:31 PM »
To many wild guesses on these threads I can  honestly say that the one in my thread was never a  conversion back to flint , I have seen too many of drum and  nipple conversion back to flint I have never and I will say it again never agreed with it  it destroys the history of the gun and is mostly done for greed.{SAVE THE DRUM AND NIPPLE ].
Feltwad

Offline Mike Brooks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12729
    • Mike Brooks Gunmaker
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2023, 08:06:09 PM »
I wish I could see a handful of british guns with that style of lock on them. Always willing to learn something new.
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline James Rogers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3040
  • James Rogers
    • Fowling Piece
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2023, 08:11:31 PM »
This gun may have a few older or older styled parts but it has stocking and small features of post 1800 IMO.
Something like the guard I would agree is a 1770s styling but styles overlapped....greatly with lower levels of gun quality and to a smaller degree on higher end work.  What a few seem to reject is that the overlapping of use dates occur AFTER the period when one can see certain styles begin to appear as common and not 50 years before.
As for the lock... its a strange bird to me.

Offline Mike Brooks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12729
    • Mike Brooks Gunmaker
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2023, 11:24:36 PM »
This gun may have a few older or older styled parts but it has stocking and small features of post 1800 IMO.
Something like the guard I would agree is a 1770s styling but styles overlapped....greatly with lower levels of gun quality and to a smaller degree on higher end work.  What a few seem to reject is that the overlapping of use dates occur AFTER the period when one can see certain styles begin to appear as common and not 50 years before.
As for the lock... its a strange bird to me.
Strange bird indeed.
 I have an English fowling gun that is identical the the "Duncan fowler" in Hamilton's book. I had thought the Duncan was a product of the 1750's but once in hand it's pretty obvious it's from the 1790-1800 period. Has the 1790 style Ketland lock on it and the "1st pattern of acorn" (husk) finial trigger guard that has degenerated a lot from the original 1750's styling. I'll see if I can get some pics of it and post them so folks can stay in the present state of agitation. :P
NEW WEBSITE! www.mikebrooksflintlocks.com
Say, any of you boys smithies? Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?

Offline Seth Isaacson

  • Library_mod
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 890
    • Black Powder Historian
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2023, 11:59:05 PM »
It definitely looks like an early 1800s gun to my eyes. Acorn finials aren't as common on guns from that period after the pineapple finial became real popular, but they definitely were still around in significant quantities. I've seen acorn finials on blunderbusses with post-1813 Birmingham proofs from time to time with various maker's names on them.
I am the Lead Historian and a Firearms Specialist at Rock Island Auction Co., but I am here out of my own personal interests in muzzle loading and history.
*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are NOT meant to represent those of any other entity unless otherwise expressly stated.*

Offline JV Puleo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 864
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2023, 03:51:03 PM »
It has Tower private proofs which only means the barrel was made before 1805. It could have been sold by any provincial gunmaker although nearly all of those were actually made in Birmingham and supplied whole, or as parts to the trade. "DB" could be either the gunmaker or the barrel maker. I've seen other largely unmarked English guns devoid of engraving...think of the interesting rifle Pukka Bandook posted some time ago. We made a trade and I now have that. The lock is probably not even English and may be older than the stocking which is clearly English. My guess is that these rather plain, though well-made guns were intended for game keepers who, other than the landowner, would have been the only person allowed to shoot on a landed estate. This gun does have a roller frizzen, waterproof pan and a frizzen screw with the head inside the lock so it is clearly better than the common export locks we see here. This is an entire class of gun made for retainers...I also remember a very plain Twigg blunderbuss in Peter Dale's shop that was probably made to arm a coachman.

Offline Pukka Bundook

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3042
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2023, 04:37:17 PM »
Joe,
I tend to agree with you on this one.
overlooking the various parts, it sits with me as about 1790, but using or re- using some earlier parts.

I have a Twigg single sporting gun, altered to percussion, and enough breech end of the barrel removed so that half of the Twigg mark below the barrel is missing. It is obviously  a decent conversion, but not best, and the gun was re-stocked using the original furniture.
To me it was a cheaper way of modernizing a gun into something useful for say a gamekeeper.  decent, competent, but not the best work.
There must have been thousands of guns brought up to date or re-stocked for various reasons, and given to employees to use.

The short wrist and plainness of the gun in the OP, says it fits into this category.

I also have one incredibly bad relic, out of Ireland, it is stocked up in roughly 1790 sporting gun fashion, but the parts are India Pattern brown Bess, with the guard simplified.  The woodworm had eaten most of the stock,  but enough remained to say a re-stock.

Re age,
In GBG 1540 to 1740, Keith Niel says regarding the charming charecatures seen on the wrist on earlier pieces, that this was a short lived fashion, that ended before 1700, or roughly 1675 to 1690's.
I have John Hall blunderbuss , which  must date to the 1740's yet has all the early characteristics, including this charecature. (spelling!)
40 to 50 years out of date when made?

Never and always are poor words at the best of times!

Best,
R.



Offline JV Puleo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 864
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2023, 05:08:01 PM »
Especially with provincial guns. Not everyone was on board with the latest fashions...heck, I  still smoke a pipe and my favorite suit is one I bought 40 years ago. It's so easy to assume dates based on what we think are dateable features but it's a very nebulous practice.

One of my friends in the UK is the grandson of Lord Lee's game keeper. He relates stories his grandfather told him of the guns he kept in the game keepers lodge before WWI. Some were old but what intrigued me was that he had two Winchester lever actions, used to control the deer, not something anyone would expect to find on a British landed estate.

When the volunteer movement was initiated with the threat of French invasion in 1794 there was a lot of talk of raising volunteer rifle units from the game keepers...the only people in England familiar with rifles who were not from the classes that would have been officers.This is a very good example of my favorite bugaboo with collectors...they often ignore the context these items existed in.

Oh...and another one is that double I sent you...French, from the 1740s but obviously restocked in England and directly attributable to a member of the aristocracy.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2023, 05:12:45 PM by JV Puleo »

Offline Seth Isaacson

  • Library_mod
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 890
    • Black Powder Historian
Re: Odd lock on ca 1775 English gun
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2023, 05:17:59 PM »
There are plenty of plainer guns from Continental Europe that were or appear to have been part of the armories of various hunting lodges of the nobility, some updated and repaired over the years. Some plainer, some nicer. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case in the UK as well. A wealthy gentleman who liked to hunt might keep some more utilitarian extra guns on hand for guests that might go hunting with them as well as for their gamekeeper and staff. As "extra/loaner" guns, they probably didn't necessarily care if they were the best guns. The Princes zu Salm-Reifferscheidt-Dyck had a large armory that contained a wide variety of arms of varying degrees of sophistication, for example, and I know the French kings had a growing collection of arms, some of which are known to have been updated multiple times.
I am the Lead Historian and a Firearms Specialist at Rock Island Auction Co., but I am here out of my own personal interests in muzzle loading and history.
*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are NOT meant to represent those of any other entity unless otherwise expressly stated.*