A Fine Antique British Military India Pattern 3rd Model Brown Bess Flintlock Musket made for the British East India Company, lock dated 1796.
A Fine Antique British Military India Pattern 3rd Model Brown Bess Flintlock Musket made for the British East India Company, lock dated 1796. 39", .77 caliber smooth-bore steel barrel struck on the top of the breech with (2) "Crossed Scepter" Tower of London proof marks, a "CROWN" over "4", a "CROWN" over "8", and a "CROWN" over "1" inspectors marks. Standard 3rd model India Pattern all brass furniture. The top portion of the butt plate is engraved with regiment/rack inventory numbers "1" over "43". The lock is maker engraved "THOMSON" (contractor to the ordnance department of the East India Company), a "CROWN" over "1" (inspectors mark), and the East India Company "HEART" logo below the date "1796" on the tail of the lock plate. The musket is in its original flintlock configuration. The stock is solid with a chip missing from the right side fore-end near the brass nose cap, a few nicks, dings, small stress cracks and scratches from years of service. The right side of the comb has (2) Tower of London arsenal stamps (one with a visible date of "1800") and an inspector's stamp at the rear of the trigger guard. The left side of the stock is stamped "I P" (possibly Joseph Perkin/s who was an arms maker and superintendent for American forces), and an unidentified "R C". The stock retains the original varnish. Correct steel button head ram rod and sling swivels. A wonderful example in good mechanical working order...
Notes on JOSEPH PERKIN/S: Among the many surviving British, French, and European muskets imported into the United States during the Revolutionary War, many feature stocks marked with the initials “IP.” The same initials can also be found stamped on the interior of lock plates of some of the arms made at Rappahannock Forge in Virginia during the war. Fowling pieces, pistols, and rifles from the 1770s and 1780s feature “PERKIN” engraved on their lock plates in serif letters or in a scrolling banner. Roughly 40- year career as a gunsmith, from the 1760s until his death in 1806. Perkins finished his career as the first superintendent of Harpers Ferry Armory, one of two armories established by the United States following the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1787. Merritt Roe Smith’s classic book Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology: The Challenge of Change analyzes Perkin’s crucial role in establishing Harpers Ferry and overseeing its initial production runs. Notably, Perkin led the design of the Model 1803 rifle, the “first regulation rifle to be manufactured at the government armories". Perkin left his mark on Federal-era arms making, but scholars of American firearms know little about the early days of his career.