At the end of the 18th century high quality barrels were always in demand, and were very expensive. Many guns by Manton and others used Spanish made barrels salvaged from earlier guns, and this use of a Moorish barrel is not unprecedented. This barrel is 20 gauge and 37" long and has modified octagonal breech section decorated with raised arabesque carvings inlaid with gold and silver. Barrel transitions to round with more inlaid decoration toward muzzle. An under rib has been fitted, and a newer hickory ramrod is in two plain pipes. Patent breech plug with inset right side is converted to percussion with drum and nipple. Drum is stamped "T J Egan". No Manton number found. Lock with flat plate has classic truncated tail. It has been converted to percussion with a flat faced serpentine hammer fitted, and all flint mechanism including fences filed away. Lock is engraved "John Manton & Son" "PATENT". Borders are feather engraved and a stand of arms is at rear of plate. Trigger plate has classic pineapple finial and trigger guard with stand of arms on bow has scroll on looped tail which forms semi-pistol grip. Well marbled European walnut straight grip stock measures 14" over steel buttplate with long top strap engraved with stand of arms. Stock features a right hand shadow line cheekpiece, square checkering at grip, and a silver rectangle engraved "GFB" at top of grip. Stock attaches to barrel with two captive side bolts through oval silver escutcheons. Gun is housed in fiddle figured mahogany case with brass D-ring handle, central medallion engraved "G. Snyder". Lid fastens with two pendulum brass hooks, and keyhole escutcheon is of classic Manton ivory inverted teardrop style. Case is lined in green baize, and has the first pattern small paper John Manton label in lid with 6 Dover Street address. Case contains an unopened tin of Joyce & Co percussion caps, glass and pewter hip flask, reproduction powder flask, ivory handled dusting brush, relatively new pewter oil bottle, 3 piece greenheart and brass cleaning rod, with more percussion caps under mahogany lock platform with ivory knob. CONDITION: Good, as partially refinished. Barrel with considerable wear retains traces of an old refinish. Other steel and iron parts cleaned to gray brown patina. Stock has old oil refinish, details rounded, checkering considerably worn. Bore is dark. Lock is excellent. Case is very good to fine, appears to remain original with numerous marks and scratches along with staining and cracks in top. Interior cloth is good with some light staining and insect damage. Accessories are good. Label is fine with some dents and punctures, still quite legible.
PERIOD: First Quarter 19th Century
SIZE: 20 gauge; 37"L