VERY GOOD INDIA PATTERN BROWN BESS MUSKET AND BAYONET

$2,450.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1037-101

This is a 1790s East India Company Brown Bess with bayonet. In addition to their service on behalf of British patriotism, colonialism, and business, they are known to have made their way through commercial channels into American militia hands during the period.

The United East India Company fielded its own armed forces and contracted for its own weapons. This is an example of their 1790s infantry musket, known to collectors as the India Pattern or the Type-III  Brown Bess, from its adoption by the British government as a stop-gap measure early in 1794 and its formal adoption in 1797 as less costly longarm. This one was a purely UEIC product with no British Ordnance markings and the lockplate sharply marked at rear with UEIC company initials in a heart with a “4” on top (supposedly altered from a cross in deference to non-Christian soldiers of the Company) and the date “1797,” which is likely contract date, and the contractor’s name, “Memory” on the lockplate forward of the hammer.

The barrel has a nice, even brown surface with clear proofs at the breech, along with some light pitting at the touchhole and just a little forward of that. The brass buttplate, triggerguard, sideplate, thimbles, and nose cap are in place and tight. The ramrod is present. The swivels are missing. The wood has a generally good fit, though these muskets always fell under the “good and serviceable” heading. There are some dings to the butt flats, a hairline through the upper lock screw on the left, and a narrow crack on the left forestock running about halfway back from the lower thimble to the sideplate, but which seems stable. There is a small shrinkage gap around the breechplug tang and at rear of the lock, which shows some chipping. This comes with an original Brown Bess bayonet that fits, but shows a mix of silvery gray with darker gray spots.

We illustrate along with this a 1796 advertisement from a Boston newspaper for military goods that specifically mentions “East-india pieces” for sale and we are aware of a 1797 receipt from the firm in the Hancock family papers for purchase of a, “complete East India piece with bayonet,” making this a good candidate for display with Federal period U.S. militia gear.  [sr] [ph:L]

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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