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  LOT 348
Very Scarce Engraved and Silver Mounted H. Delany Automatic Priming Breechloading Cartridge Flintlock Sporting Gun - NSN, 13 Bore cal., 30 inch round bbl.,
bright/fire blue/silver finish, deluxe walnut stock. This c. 1720 breechloading flintlock sporting gun is designed for use
with ball or shot and is very innovative for the period. It demonstrates that metallic cartridges were in the minds of gunmakers
long before they became common. Reloading is performed by first pulling the cock to half-cock and re-closing the frizzen. Then the shooter pulls
the trigger guard rearward to unlock the breech and allow the breech to rotate downward. The thick steel cartridge can then slide out of the barrel.
 The cartridge can be reloaded and then reinserted, or another preprepared cartridge can be quickly inserted. The pan is part of the barrel and rotates with it when a new cartridge is being inserted. When the barrel rotates for loading, powder from the magazine automatically refills the pan as it rotates by.
Henry Delany (also seen spelled Delaney and Delawny) of London is noted by Blackmore in “Gunmakers of London 1350-1850” as a
“Maker of fine breechloading sporting guns and silver-mounted pistols...” A limited number of other examples of his breechloading firearms are known. The Royal Trust Collection notes their example by Robert Rowland “is one of a small group of such guns – another by Rowland and a third by the Huguenot maker, Henry Delany (active 1715-46), of c.1720 being the only others of this type.” There is also a second by Delany that was formerly part of the W. Keith Neal Collection. Delany also manufactured turn-off barrel breechloading sporting guns with the barrels connected to the breech by a link.
The three-stage barrel is smoothbore and has a swamped profile, silver blade front sight, simple bands at the transitions, “H- DELANY- LONDON-” signed on top at the breech, a proof on the bottom, and floral engraving at the breech. The upper tang has a dished/grooved rear sight and floral engraving. The rounded back action lock has “H/DELANY” signed at the bottom, scroll engraving with a mask design, and a shell design at the tail. The side plate and trigger guard have coordinating engraving. The wrist escutcheon and buttplate are silver with floral and scroll designs and a bare arm with a dagger rising out of a cloud over a torse on the escutcheon, and the highly figured buttstock also has ornate silver wire inlaid scrollwork and some simple carving by the tangs. Similar crests are seen in French heraldry, so a fellow Huguenot may have purchased this carbine. CONDITION: Very good. The metal is mostly polished bright and has some smaller patches of brown patina and bright original fire blue finish in the protected areas at the breech. The silver displays attractive aged patina. Aside from the poorly struck proof, the markings and engraving patterns are crisp. The stock is also very good and has very attractive grain, some splices, mild scratches and dings, a crack through the wrist, and smooth finish. Mechanically excellent. Estimate: 6,500 - 9,500
   Ferguson and Durs Egg. However, on this example, instead of a normal flash pan and vent arrangement, the pan is partially grooved into the breechblock and top of the barrel, and the flash is communicated through a small channel at the edge
of the breechblock. Another example of this priming style with a different lock design by Brion c. 1730 is noted in “The Ferguson Rifle and Its Origins” by W. Keith Neal in the American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin in 1974. He notes that the Brion design used prepared paper cartridges which were stored in a compartment in the stock. Our present example also has a stock compartment. The barrel has three-groove rifling and a blade front sight. The furniture is iron. The screw-heads
have floral engraving, and the cock is nicely sculpted. Otherwise, the metal is mostly plain. The stock has fine checkering on the forend and wrist. CONDITION: Very good with silver-gray patina overall, some minor pitting mostly by the pan, and generally minor
overall wear. The stock has a hairline crack at the upper tang/lock and is otherwise also fine and has crisp checkering, nice oiled finish, and light handling and storage wear. Mechanically fine.
This is a very rare rifle. Chaumette and Ferguson pattern breechloading flintlocks are extremely scarce in general, and we have never seen one of this pattern before!
Estimate: 5,500 - 8,500
OT 349
Very Scarce Small Bore Breechloading Flintlock Rifle Based on the
Chaumette System - NSN, 32 cal., 40 3/4 inch part octagon bbl., bright finish, walnut
stock. This long rifle utilizes a system similar to Isaac de la Chaumette’s early 18th century design
which employs a screw in breech plug connected to the trigger guard which was also later improved by Patrick

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