FRENCH 1785 CONTRACT MUSKET FOR THE STATE OF VIRGINIA CONVERTED TO PERCUSSION- BARREL MARKED “… CITY OF RICHMOND”

$4,000.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1000-256

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After the Revolution and before the adoption of the Federal Constitution, Virginia realized that she had no source of new arms. In 1785, when Patrick Henry was Governor of the state, the Council of State appropriated 10,000 pounds to procure foreign muskets. A contract was entered into with France to purchase 3,390 muskets to be manufactured at the Tulle Armory. These muskets were of the French Colonial Pattern. The first shipment of 1,500 muskets reached Virginia’s Point of Fork Arsenal in December 1786.

The second shipment of 1,890 muskets was received in Virginia in July of 1787 thereby fulfilling the state’s contract for 3,390 French muskets. These were the first muskets procured in the fledgling United States after the Revolution.

Starting in 1801, all Virginia owned muskets that were deposited in state facilities were ordered to have their barrels marked with the regimental numbers and the county name to which they were to be issued.

This .72 smoothbore musket has a barrel that is semi-bright throughout with some light scattered mottling. There are no sights but there is a bayonet lug at the bottom of the muzzle. Breech area has some very light pitting. Breech is stamped with an unreadable regimental number and “CITY OF RICHMOND.” This mark is also worn but readable. Bore is dark and has built up areas of dirt with scattered pitting.

Barrel is held to the stock by three barrel bands. The front and rear bands are of brass and the middle is made of iron which is correct. Front band is double strapped. The first shows an empty mortise where the front sight would have been and the second has a small crack.

The lock matches the barrel in appearance. It has a rounded front and a pointed rear that is basically flush with the stock, however there is some old wood loss in this area leaving the point of the lock “in the air.” The hammer matches the barrel and lock in appearance though the hammer screw is a bit lighter. Action works properly. Forward of the hammer the lock has some faint markings. Two L’s from the name “TULLE” are visible. Weapon was converted to percussion by S. C. ROBINSON & CO. of Richmond as evidenced by the double faceted bolster. Original nipple is present and in good condition.

The wood stock is in nice shape for its age and exhibits the usual dings, dents and scratches. The left side of the butt has a concave cheek rest while the right side has a stamped crown with the number “77” below it. The wrist has a repaired crack that was expertly done. The crack started on the left side of the triggerguard and ran to the top of the wrist. It is barely perceptible now. There are some small old chips in the area of the barrel tang and forward of the lock. Wood shrinkage has opened a small gap along one side of the barrel tang but overall the stock has survived well over the past 200 years.

Buttplate and triggerguard are of brass with the triggerguard having a decorative round pointed finial at front and finger rests at rear. Iron buttonhead ramrod is full length with threaded tip. Both sling swivels are present.  [ad]

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire!

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