Help with 1790 VOC Flintlock Blunderbuss pistol

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by kalisgems, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. kalisgems

    kalisgems New Member

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    I have a flintlock that is marked 1790 VOC. I cannot find any other pistols made by VOC with the bell end of the barrell. It has several other areas that have markings that were proofs. However they are not legible as it sits. I wanted to clean it up and I was told no!..they said it would hurt the value. Can anyone tell me anything about this gun. And maybe point me in the direction of locating a value on the gun. Thanks[​IMG][​IMG][/IMG][​IMG]

    You can view the entire album of photos on the gun at
    http://s1204.photobucket.com/albums/bb416/Kim_Chester/
  2. kalisgems

    kalisgems New Member

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  3. kalisgems

    kalisgems New Member

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  4. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Gawd, that's crude. FWIW, I don't think it was ever intended to be a working firearm. (Example: The top jaw screw is too short to allow a flint to be inserted in the jaws.)

    I would guess it was made in North Africa or the Middle East (it looks too crude even for the Khyber Pass area), made for the tourist trade. Looks like a neat wall hanger, though.

    Jim
  5. kalisgems

    kalisgems New Member

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    I had a knowledgable gun collector look at the gun today. He said it was all original and it was an actual firearm and not a copy replica or dummmy. Do you think cleaning it would be a bad idea also?
  6. reinhard

    reinhard Member

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    that barrel is an alloy of some kind ,I think Jim is right ,the gun is too crude to be a real antique
  7. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    The peice is older than the 1790 date the one peice wall and lock shroud shows that , i think its been a one off maker , barrel unknown but have seen brass alloyed with steel before from spain in the 1710-30's period , and some of them had a insert made of pure spanish steel like a modern barrel sleeve

    too hard tom place without a good hands on but i think its a real old peice with many mods , the screw , well i gotta disagree , flints as we use today are much bigger than flints then as everyone had to have them they made em thin , a 1742 known made pistol here has a flint 4.5 mm thick at the base and this was the issued thickness all the flint knappers of the period where taught to create thin slices of flint ..
  8. kalisgems

    kalisgems New Member

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    Yes it has brass in it. By the way Jack that was a very good answer and goes along with the research I have done so far. I would think a gun being nearly 300 years old would be crude, If you mean crude as existing in a natural state and unaltered? Jack because of the brass content the piece has a heavy green patina on it. Do you think cleaning it would be exceptable or no. I was told it would have to be tumbled? And do you know of any East India Co. VOC firearms like this one that have sold elsewhere or what the value would be? Thanks

    Ps.. I attached a pic of the brass showing thru on the barrell. It is along the outer edge.

    [​IMG]
  9. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

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    I don't think cleaning it would hurt the value at all. 300 years ago guns were not crudely made. They were hand fitted and hand finished. I am not an expert an any means. The workmanship on that gun is crude,and mismatched. It was never made in by recognized gun maker. I have to agree with Jim K., It is too crude for even Khyber Pass. Being old does not make up for crude shoddy work. Sorry about that.
  10. CHUCKEYCITY13

    CHUCKEYCITY13 New Member

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    Maybe something maybe not however VOC Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or Dutch East India Company was a major player in Asia wouldn't be suprised if this wasn't some sort of trade good. The VOC and date looks very much like the coinage used see attahed image

    Attached Files:

  11. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    I'm not a expert , but run across a few original "seige weapons" the fixed pan dates this pre 1790 , but maybe its a old pattern the guy had maybe a lot of things , both copper and brass where used to make such "impulse needs" weapons , i would not fire one , they where made as last ditch firepower, people often did from old weapons in those days , some late 1600 locks where used and reused up til the late 1800's despite newer screws and other bits and bobs from home repair the base weapon has too many points only used in certain periods i'm assuming the lock is older than the barrel and redone at one of the VOC bases , PS the history of them was awful bloody , surrounded by Indians but these where the Indian variety , 400-1 outnumbered often , such items where never taken out of armoury , even in the last format the dutch east indies company had its own armoury until 1968 , Thomas Cook International acquired it and disposed of many weapons that where hundreds of years old for peanuts over the next 10 years , These companies acquired stuff and arms , they did not sell them off easy ..
    i'd love to have had a few thousand pounds and a time machine... they had arqabus's !!!! 200 of them!!!
  12. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    personally i'd not retouch it but get it defined by a expert who can use the patina to age it to 10+/- years or so ( not cheap here $190 AUD ) cant do it correctly when redone .. i dont care how good you are , metal analysis excepted .. the crystal structure gadgets are good but way more expencive again.. a good restoration job can remove all trace of true age ..

    besides load a flint in the thing and make it a wall hanger , its a nice piece as it is ..
  13. kalisgems

    kalisgems New Member

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    Here is a link to another one by the same company. It is a close match. Also it shows the coins you posted.

    [​IMG]



    British East India Co. (VOC) flintlock pistol dated 1797, with copper coins of the period. 2 lb 8 oz, 15" long. While not ornate, this pistol nevertheless shows a very important heart-shaped engraving on the side of the lock that corresponds to the British East India Co. topped by the clear date 1797, also with maker's mark MANN on the top of the barrel, the steel flintlock and barrel, brass trigger-guard and buttplate, even the wooden ramrod all complete and intact. To illustrate the coins of the time when this gun was used, the consignor has included with this lot two copper coins dated 1794, one "ten cash" of the British East India Co. (showing the heart symbol) and one "duit" of the Dutch East India Co.
  14. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    They where giant enterprises , ship building , colonial governments , farms , warehouses , feeding the markets of Europe from asia and africa , slaves too , DEI and its other brands sold 14% of all slaves sold to the America's and transported 60% , they had their own currency and laws, they where god in some places , India gave them a hard time and the British Raj came to settle it after a profit loss statement was distributed that projected over the next 50 years , so Enland added a new Jewel to the crown , but before then it was the privateers that ran the armies and police and security ..

    truly multi national corporate Governments 400 years ago , not bad eh
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  15. kalisgems

    kalisgems New Member

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    I would say you have done your homework. So ....is this what they call a blunderbuss flintlock? I dont know the difference between a queen anne, dragoon, blunderbuss or a pirate blunderbuss?
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