This remarkable British Flintlock Blunderbuss is a true work of art. It bears markings from the Birmingham Proof House, dating from 1813 to 1855, and the lock is marked “Spencer.” In Britain, during the late 17th to mid-18th century, there were several well-known gun makers with the surname Spencer, including James, Matthew, and Thomas Spencer. Based on the proofs, we believe this example was made by one of the former two.
These weapons were carried by British Navy personnel as a defensive measure to protect against marauders such as pirates who would often attack nearby ships. Due to the nature of firearm manufacturing at the time, these guns were highly customized. Most similar examples have a top-mounted bayonet and bottom-mounted ramrod, but this example is quite unique in that its bayonet is mounted on the bottom of the barrel while the ramrod is mounted on the side. Another unique feature of this example is the half-octagonal, half-round, 14-inch brass barrel, as well as the checkering on the wrist. This gun measures just over 29 inches in overall length, has an acorn-style trigger guard, light decorative engraving on the fenced flash pan, and a sliding lock forward of the trigger guard that releases the 6-inch-long triangular bayonet, which is deployed by a roller-equipped spring.
The detail and condition of this gun are extraordinary, and overall, its condition is great. It has been well-maintained and has typical wear throughout. There are scratches and dings on the wood, along with small areas with repairs and small cracks, particularly on the right side to the rear and forward of the lock. The barrel and other brass components have even wear throughout, as typically seen on a gun of similar age. The aforementioned roller spring could be stronger when the bayonet is deployed, allowing it to lock into place, but it works nonetheless. The bore has a nice green patina, and there is no significant damage to note. As with any of our items for sale, the photographs will be your best guide to overall condition and quality. Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of early firearm history! Who wouldn’t want to own an early-style short-barreled shotgun with a stabbing implement on the end of the barrel?
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