May 27, 2020 Founders & Patriots
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/27/2020
This recently-discovered fusil is the only surviving example of the pattern procured by the Board of Ordnance for the use of Royal Artillery officers from 1750 until 1773, when longarms were laid aside and artillery officers only carried sidearms (swords or dirks) from that date forward. The Tower began production by the in-house workforce in May 1750, producing 38 "Fuzees" by the following month. Small batches continued in production for the following two decades, as required, to arm the commissioned officers of artillery. The fusils all had 37-inch barrels, key- or slide-fastened (rather than pin-fastened as with the other ranks' or enlisted artillery carbines), with hook- or false breeches and engraved brass furniture. This fusil was issued to Joseph Cheney when he was promoted to "Lieutenant and Fireworker" on 20 January 1762, having first entered the Royal Artillery as a matross in February 1755. Cheney went on half-pay at the close of the war in Spring 1763, but returned to active duty in the 2nd Battalion in 1766, successively promoted to 2nd lieutenant on 1 January 1771 and 1st lieutenant, 27 March 1776. He removed the Invalid Battalion in 1777, dying at Boston, Lincolnshire on 16 August 1811. The fusil has an overall length of 44 3/4 inches. Its key-fastened barrel's length was reduced at some time in its history from 37 inches to its current 29 1/2 inch length and has a 0.67 bore. The steel tang of the hook-breech is engraved with floral motifs and a rear sight groove was filed into it some time after issue. Traces of the Ordnance proof mark remains on the top of the barrel near the breech and a possible maker's mark "b [?]" can be found on the left underside before breech. The rounded P1756 Land pattern carbine lock is engraved with a single edge-line, as is the gooseneck cock and hammer or frizzen. There are signs of purposeful filing before and behind the lock, which was likely done to remove the "crown/GR" and "TOWER" or maker's name, respectively. The inside of the lock bears a "crown/2" inspection mark and the "WG" touchmark of William Grice, who produced carbine locks and barrels for the Tower during this period. The walnut stock is well finished, with shellwork carving around the barrel tang and high relief work around the lockplate, ending in a beavertail behind, with corresponding work on the recto around the sideplate. The wooden ramrod has a 1 3/8 inch-long, horn tip and was probably added at the same time that the barrel and forestock were cut-down to function as a sporting gun, stocked to the muzzle. The brass mountings include a sideplate, with a panoply of arms symbolic of the Board of Ordnance and the Artillery Regiment, consisting of banners, cannon barrels, , trumpets and a powder barrel, surrounding a tower or keep. The triggerguard has edge engraving and scroll and shell motifs, while the vacant thumbpiece has scroll and shell flourishes at its top and bottom. The buttplate tang has edge engraving and a centered, martial panoply consisting of drum, halbert, and crossed cannon and flags, while the butt proper has "LT: CHENEY / 1762" engraved in two lines perpendicular to the butt. CONDITION: The barrel bears traces of old browning and is lightly pitted from the same. The lock components all show wear and light pitting; the lock in working order. The brass fittings are mellow and with light toning in the engraved lines and inset castings. The walnut stock has scattered light dings, nicks and scratches, but otherwise very good. JK
Barrel Length
29 - 1/2"
Drop at Comb
Drop at Heel
FFL Status
Length of Pull
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $6,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $12,000 - $20,000
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
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