November 17, 2020 Early Arms & Militaria: Age of Exploration, Empire & Revolution
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2020
This fine example of a period American-restocked French Model 1763 "Fusil" or musket in its original configuration is extremely rare, without even taking account its important, wartime American markings. It was originally part of a clandestine shipment from France aboard the Mercure, which arrived at Portsmouth, New Hampshire on March 17, 1777. 2016 of these muskets were released to New Hampshire for its three Continental battalions the following month and shipped to John Ward Gilman, an Exeter silversmith, to have state ownership markings applied. This musket bears period-defaced partially visible stamps applied on the left side near the breech. These arms were originally marked for one of three battalions. The 1st New Hampshire Battalion, all numbered in sequence from No. 1 to No. 672, the paired bayonets engraved with the number only; the two other battalions had their respective 672 stands of arms similarly marked, but distinguished by “2B” or “3B” battalion stamps on the musket barrels. By June 1777, more than 800 of the NH-marked arms had arrived at Fort Ticonderoga and were issued out to the three battalions, who first carried them into action at Hubbardton and subsequently, Saratoga. By late fall, the New Hampshire Line, had joined the Main Army and wintered with it at Valley Forge, before fighting at Monmouth on June 28, 1778. The musket has its original full-length 45" tapered round .75 caliber smoothbore barrel with bayonet lug mounted on the bottom near muzzle. The flat lockplate has beveled edges and is stamped in the center with a crown over "HB" and stamped with partially visible "ST. ETIENNE", below. Opposite it, the iron sideplate is unmarked. The musket features the early Model 1763 mounts, including a trumpeted band at the muzzle and stepped middle-band (both spring-fastened) and a pressure-mounted, rear band (later spring-fastened from 1766 onward). The musket is complete with its original ramrod cover or "sheath" of sheet-iron, spring-fastened and ranging the ramrod channel between the muzzle band and center band. This feature is unique to the true 1763 first type musket and not found in those produced after 1766, the so-called "light 1763" or Model 1766 (and is rarely encountered still in place on surviving specimens). The full-length, American walnut stock is carved with relief shaped panels around the lock and sideplate terminating at the back in teardrops. There is also a relief molding with a teardrop surrounding the barrel tang. The comb has a relief design and deep flutes on both sides of the wrist. The sling swivels were also removed when the musket was restocked. Ramrod is a later replacement. CONDITION: All iron components retain a dark, undisturbed patina; barrel markings still partially visible, but had a series of intentional score marks placed over, probably when the musket was restocked. The lock is in its original configuration and good working order with good markings; the stock shows scattered marks from use, minor chips and age cracks. The musket is completely "as found" and in "attic condition". This is a scarce Revolutionary War musket that definitely saw use fighting for the freedom of this country. DMG

Item Dimensions: 61"
Barrel Length
.75 Smoothbore
Model 1763
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $11,070.00
Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000
Number Bids: 30
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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