October 30, 2019 The Collection of Steve & Marcy Hench
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/30/2019
This musket is featured in the centerfold of "Native Americans, Explorers and Traders: Traces of Early Cross-Cultural Exchange in Wisconsin" which was written in the 1950's by Herman Bender. This is a prime example of a late 18th or early 19th century gun used most likely into the second or third quarter as it traveled West and was probably carried on horseback. This rare chief's grade trade gun is sometimes referred to as a "Medallion" gun because the relief embossed silver wrist escutcheon featuring the bust of an Indian Chief. This style was made in London between about 1790 and 1807. They were presented to Indian Chiefs or important Indians during special ceremonies. The gun has a two stage octagon to round barrel stamped "LONDON" on the top near the breech. Its original silver spider sight bead has been removed and a brass bead has been placed behind it. There are two Birmingham proofs on the left side of the breech. The lock has been converted to percussion during the period of use and is stamped "WHEELER" in the center. The tail is engraved with a bow and arrow motif. The brass furniture includes a full sideplate with molded sections and engraved with a bow and two arrows in the center. The brass buttplate is engraved en suite, as well as the trigger guard bow. The trigger guard finial is in the shape of three feathers and is engraved. The silver wrist escutcheon is reminiscent of Indian Peace medals and shows the bust of an Indian Chief. There are a series of brass tacks that form Indian designs on both sides of the buttstock and one behind the barrel tang; these were added during the secondary usage of the musket. The left side of the buttstock shows a large, silver, Indian made turtle with a convex shell. It is applied using iron tacks and is surrounded by brass tack designs. The forend features a pewter endcap as well as a period rawhide wrap with hand-carrying strap decorated with trade beads and now absent prairie chicken feathers. This is historically significant as it shows the length of time that this firearm was used. The partially figured walnut stock was shortened during the period to its current configuration. There is a relief carved panel around the barrel tang terminating in a tear drop. Iron ferrules have been attached to the ferrule and the ramrod has been replaced during the period with an iron ramrod. CONDITION: This trade musket is in completely untouched and as found condition. It remains in the exact configuration as it was at the end of its usage. The gun shows dark patinas and dry surfaces overall and shows heavy wear as well as period chips missing on the forend and around the barrel tang, which have now smoothed from use. A copy of the book featuring this gun is included. This is a rare and important, authentic Indian Chief's trade gun.
Barrel Length
.58 Smoothbore
Drop at Comb
Drop at Heel
FFL Status
Length of Pull
Indian Chief
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $6,000.00
Estimate: $6,000 - $12,000
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Wednesday, October 30, 2019.
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