Page 258 - 4090-BOOK1
P. 258

LOT 318
Significant 1 of 2 Known Revolutionary War Thomas Ewing Inspected Maryland Council of Safety Flintlock Pistol - Serial no. 434, 64 cal., 9 inch bbl., bright finish, walnut stock. This flintlock pistol is a near copy of the British Light Dragoon pistol used during the American Revolution. However, this example was manufactured in 1775-1777 and stamped with the mark of Captain Thomas Ewing, inspector for the Maryland Council of Safety, making it one of the rarest American martial flintlock pistols in existence. The Maryland Council of Safety directed and regulated the local militia. To that end, the 16 council members appointed and commissioned officers and also established a gunlock factory in Fredericktown, Maryland, in December 1775. Pistols such as this were
issued primarily to those officers although some were also issued to cavalry units and to the limited number of sailors fighting for the American cause. This pistol, serial number 434, is nearly identical to pistol number 226 as illustrated and described on pages 16-17 of “Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock” by Samuel Smith
and Edwin Bitter. Number 226 is also discussed in “United States Martial Flintlocks” by Robert M. Reilly on page 156-157. Smith and Bitter state that pistol number 226 is one of the few surviving American made Revolutionary War flintlock pistols that have a recognized proof mark. Like pistol number 226, this pistol is stamped with the tulip-shaped proof mark of Captain Thomas Ewing on the left side of the barrel. Appointed by the Council of Safety, Captain Ewing was responsible for inspecting weapons that were intended both for the state’s own militia as well as the Continental Army, and, due to confusion by the Continental officer Captain Tower, the tulip stamp was retired before the end of 1776. In addition to Ewing’s inspection mark, the underside of the barrel bears
the serial number “434” and the marking of “JGM/eagle” inside a shield, denoting that before the arm left the manufactory it was inspected by James Johnson, co-founder of the manufactory and Superintendent of the pistol division. Currently available research indicates that serial numbers 226 and 434 are the only pistols manufactured
with a series of rings at the breech. The lock plate is flat
with beveled edges and terminates in a point. The lock is
not marked and has a detachable, faceted, iron pan and
gooseneck hammer with beveled edges. The iron buttcap
and flat iron side plate are nearly identical to those on the
British Light Dragoon pistol. The European style iron trigger
guard has an asymmetrical finial at either end. The pistol has
a hickory ramrod with flared head and iron tip with a worm on
the opposite end. The ramrod is secured by an iron pipe and tail pipe. The stock is light-colored walnut with a pronounced “beavertail” carved around the barrel tang.
CONDITION: Exceptional condition for an American Revolutionary War pistol. The metal surfaces have aged to a silver-gray patina. The barrel, lock, and iron furniture are smooth and with only limited and very minor pitting. There is only very limited flash pitting around the flash hole and adjacent areas of the lock and hammer. Captain Thomas Ewing’s inspection mark on the left side of the barrel remains deep and crisp, and superintendent Johnson’s stamp is small but clear on the underside. Although the stock has been lightly cleaned, it remains in very good condition. The edges of the side plate and tang beavertail are sharp. The serial number on the left stock flat is crisp with the 3 double stamped. It has only some scattered and very minor handling and storage marks. This is a very rare and historically significant example of a martially inspected Maryland Council of Safety flintlock pistol from the Revolutionary War. This pistol would be a centerpiece in the most advanced U.S. martial arms collection! A priceless piece of United States of America History!
Estimate: 35,000 - 55,000
256 by the Maryland Council of Safety that are known to exist today. The pistol has a pin-fastened British style barrel

   256   257   258   259   260