Old Double Barrel Flintlock

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by wingspar, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. wingspar

    wingspar Member

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    I have vague memories of being with my father at an auction out of a barn in Vermont sometime in the early 1950's when he bought this. In his later years, he did some restoration work on it. Gluing broken parts of the stock, and getting the flints to throw sparks. He passed away in 1988, and I put the gun in the closet until last year when I got it out to take some photos. There is no way this gun should be fired. I have no idea of the date of manufacture, or by who it was manufactured. If anyone has any info on this gun, I would appreciate it.

    [​IMG]

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    If you take the barrel off, these are the markings underneath. Also, if you look close, there are a couple of very small holes hear the breach end.
    [​IMG]

    If there are any other parts of the gun I haven’t shown that you would like to see, just ask. I probably already have a photo of it.
  2. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    :DI dont know the first thing about that gun but it would look really good hanging on my wall. So if you were thinking about throwing it away, you can send it to me.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I can tell you that it is French, made at St. Etienne probably around 1780, and that it is/was a high quality gun. Unfortunately, it has broken and been repaired, possibly several times over the two centuries and more it has been around. Both cocks appear to have broken at some time; the left was welded back together, the right appears to be a replacement.

    The wood is high grade and the carving is very nice. As I say, it was a high quality gun, but I get the impression of a working gun rather than of a museum piece.

    The barrel marking (barrel maker?) appears to be Pierre somebody but I can't figure out the other word.

    HTH

    Jim
  4. wingspar

    wingspar Member

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    Thanks for the info. That helps. 1780 is a lot older than I would have thought. I don’t know how you can tell that the left cock has been welded. Just looking at the photos, I can’t tell. I’m sure this gun was well used, and I’m sure parts have been replaced. I’m guessing the broken stock is from having to use it as a club, and probably devalues the gun. Not being in firing condition probably devalues the gun also.

    As for the markings on the barrel, they can’t be made out any better in person than what you see in the photos.

    I wonder what the value might be?
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    If you look at your second photo at the left cock, just below the end of the top jaw screw, you will see a shiny spot and a break in the engraving line. Also the bottom of the cock has what look like weld blow holes. Not an absolute certainty, but enough IMHO to say that the cock was welded. The stock could have been used as a club, but that was not a way a good shotgun would have been used. More likely the stock wood simply dried and the strains induced cracked the stock, something that happens often with old guns.

    I assigned the date based on the fleur-de-lis barrel marking, which in France denoted royalty. The French revolution took place in 1789 and for a while pretty well dried up the market for high grade sporting guns. By the time things settled down, it was a new century, the fleur-de-lis was gone and the single neck cock had been generally replaced by the double neck (because the single neck ones broke).

    Anyway, that was my thinking, but I have been wrong before and will be again, so if anyone else can contribute information, I am sure Wingspar and I will appreciate it.

    Value? Oh, boy! Old and originally nicely made, but time has taken its toll. I would make a WAG of $1500 to the right buyer, but that gentleman might be hard to find. Again, other ideas welcome.

    Jim
    Last edited: May 1, 2010
  6. wingspar

    wingspar Member

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    Thanks again for the info. Here is another photo of the left cock. Definitely some work done there, but you eye is much better than mine. I had to look at other photos to see what you were seeing.

    [​IMG]
  7. wpage

    wpage Active Member

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    That is a nice bit of history...
  8. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

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    Niiiiice :)

    I'd be tempted to take the stock to a replicator and have 'em make a new stock, then hang it over the mantle...and keep the old stock in case I ever sold it.
  9. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    I'd resist any attempt to fix it up. I remember well what former Smithsonian curator and friend told me when fixing an antique chair for may dad: "Let it show its age." To further his point, he told me a hammer I was using had been in his family for 300 years--"It' had 6 new handles and 3 new heads."
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Why have a new stock made to hang the gun up? I will look better with the current stock. Besides, making a copy would involve dozens of man-hours for a skilled stock maker; I expect a copy would cost at least $3000. There are no semi-finished blanks for work like that, and just that hand rubbed finish would cost hundreds.

    Jim
  11. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

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    Mostly because I like woodworking...getting a rough blank so I could try to carve a copy would be a challenge...
    and doing the finishing meself makes it inexpensive ;)

    But I am a twisted pup...and I'd probably try to shoot it after getting a new stock on it,
    IF the mettalurgist said it could handle firing again ;)

    Can you imagine bringing something like that to the range??
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  12. wingspar

    wingspar Member

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    Macro lenses and good light reveal stuff the human eye normally won’t pick up. This is the case with this gun. If it was hanging on the wall, most, if not all of the defects, would go unnoticed by most, and the cracks in the wood really aren’t as bad as they look in these photos. One might not even notice them with a casual look. Actually, trying to do any restoration work would probably devalue the gun. Maintaining it is another thing, which is what this gun shows. In those days when parts broke, you fixed them with what every you had. Old guns like this typically show those signs, and this one is no different. Different screw heads, some more modern than others would be one.

    This gun lives in my closet all wrapped up, and protected from the elements. I would be more interested in selling it than displaying it. Finding out what it is worth, and finding a buyer are two things that keep this gun in the closet.
  13. wingspar

    wingspar Member

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    Still wondering if anyone has an idea on the value of this gun. It does me no good sitting in my closet.
  14. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    i am not an expert by any means on this type of firearm. but i would guess the value to be 800 -1000 could be completely off though, beats me
  15. tonkaman

    tonkaman New Member

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    ill give you 50 bucks for it hahahaha, sweet peice man you should hang on to it just because of the memories of you and your father, hang it up for all to see. makes a great conversation starter.
  16. whirley

    whirley Member

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    I'd hang it on the wall and just enjoy the memories of my father fixing it up. However, if you want a double barreled flintlock shooter, I've seen several brand new ones at annual muzzle loader meets in Indiana. However if you just want to get cash for it, any good quaality auction house will be willing to handle it for a fee. I've seen several antique flintlock rifles made by recognized Pa. gunsmiths around 1790-1820 and most sold for around $1000
    However like anything else, if two people are determined to own an item, things can get pricey in a hurry.
  17. wingspar

    wingspar Member

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    To be honest, there is no, that is Zero sentimental value of this gun to me. I have no desire to keep it, and no desire to hang it on my wall. It will stay wrapped up in my closet till I find out what I might be worth. I live remotely, so going to an auction house isn’t an option.

    I do have a couple of guns from my father that do have sentimental value, and I will never sell either one of them. They are both shooters. This flintlock isn’t one of them, and I would love to sell it, but, need to know the value before I try to sell it. It’s been in my closet since 1988. I’ve only taken it out to take the photos.
  18. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    wingspar, if you felt it in your heart to give me that shotgun i would have it brought back to firing condition and shoot are of clays with it. it would have sentimental value to me :)
  19. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, Big Shrek,

    I don't know what you do for a living, but if you can duplicate work like that, you can make a darned good living at it and have work for the rest of your life.

    Jim
  20. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Active Member

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    The wood on this gun is repairable; missing pieces can be filled with old wood of similar grain and color and then carefully stained to match the original wood (NOT plastic wood). The idea is not to make the repairs invisible, but to make them blend in nicely without destroying the original patina of the wood. It would be a shame to try and replace the stock--it would ruin the gun in my opinion. I believe the value, it its present condition would be in the $800 range.
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