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 fantastic and very early relief carved fowler is shown as rifle number 102 on pages 448-452 in Volume II of "Rifles of Colonial America" by George Shumway. It dates to before the Revolutionary War. In fact, the maker used many parts including the barrel, lock, trigger, sideplate, ramrod ferrules and trigger guard from an early 18th-century Dutch musket. The parts were taken from the exact model musket offered in the previous lot. It has the same 45" full-length three-stage .80 caliber smoothbore barrel as the musket in the previous lot and both are stamped with a six-point star at the breech. The original front brass sight has been modified by trimming it down and a hand-forged notched iron rear sight has been added to this barrel when it recycled for use on this fowler. The early Dutch banana lockplate is unmarked and has beveled edges and an early unbridled faceted pan. The frizzen face was relined during the period of use. The nearly straight rifle-type buttplate measures 2" at the widest point and has a short faceted tang and no toeplate. The brass sideplate, trigger guard, and ramrod ferrules are all from a Dutch musket as well. There is a sheet brass nose-band towards the muzzle. The full-length stock is of plain maple and in displays early Pennsylvania rifle form. The relief-carved panels around the lock, sideplate and ramrod entry ferrule mimic the original carving from the Dutch musket that many of the parts used to make this fowler were taken from. There is unusual geometric carving in the shape of a shield in relief around the barrel tang. The comb has an arrow carved in relief where it meets the wrist, that carving terminates in scroll designs on both sides. There is also a relief molding along the ramrod channel on both sides. The left side of the butt is masterfully carved with a scalloped relief C-scroll design behind the long relief cheekpiece carved with molding. Just behind the cheekpiece, there is a face within a circle. This face is identical to those faces shown on later Lehigh County rifles, known as the "Allentown Indian heads". The face is the same, this early example simply does not yet have a cap and shows the earliest form of this face. To the right of the cheekpiece, there is an incised scroll design. There are also relief designs, some with scalloped edges, on both sides of the trigger guard. The fowler is complete with its original pewter-tipped iron ramrod, probably the original ramrod from the early musket with an added pewter tip. CONDITION: As found and untouched. Barrel and lock retain a dark brown patina. Lock functions properly and is in its original flintlock configuration, pan and frizzen face show heavy use. Brass retains a mellow mustard patina, nose band has been properly replaced. Stock has no repairs or restoration and shows some appropriate wear to carving and scattered marks from use, some minor chipping around lock and barrel tang. A very early and important American fowler made from Dutch musket components from a musket most certainly sent to America before or during the French & Indian War. DMG

Item Dimensions: 61"
Barrel Length
.80 Smoothbore
Drop at Comb
Drop at Heel
FFL Status
Length of Pull
Flintlock Fowler
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $10,000 - $20,000
Number Bids: 19
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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