Page 297 - 4090-BOOK2
P. 297

  LOT 1405
Very Rare Henry Nock 4 Bore Flintlock Dangerous Game Rifle - NSN, 4 bore cal., 28 3/4 inch octagon bbl., brown/casehardened/ gold/silver finish, hardwood stock. Henry Nock was a highly regarded gunmaker active in London from 1772 until his death in 1804. He is best remembered today for his seven barreled volley guns which were adopted by the Royal Navy, but his skill and innovation as a gunmaker extended beyond his work for Board of Ordnance and the East India Company to encompass fine firearms for the civilian market. His Patent Breech of 1787 which detailed a separate hooked breech piece which was screwed into the breech end of a barrel was a considerable advancement in the development of the flintlock firearm, the present rifle being an early example dating from circa 1790-1800. The breech of the present rifle is a substantially sized example of Nock’s patent with it not only bearing a gold-lined oval maker’s mark “H. NOCK/LONDON” on the top flat but also “HN/PATENT” on the lower left flat. The browned swamped Damascus barrel is cut with nine groove rifling and has a silver blade front sight, blued rear sight of one standing and one folding leaf, and the blued patent breech with a gold-lined touch hole and gold-inlaid band. The underside is struck with London proof marks. The standing breech is engraved with floral scrollwork and incorporates a small martial trophy. Flat beveled lock with stepped tail, gold-lined rainproof pan, roller and small gold-lined “H/NOCK” maker’s mark. The rifle is equipped with a single set trigger. The silver wedge escutcheons are border engraved. The trigger guard has a large pineapple finial. The other furniture is iron and features some floral engraving. The figured stock has a dark horn forend cap, blank wrist escutcheon, checkered wrist, and cheekpiece. Notes from the Norman R. Blank Collection indicate this rifle was purchased from W. Keith Neal in 1965. CONDITION: Fine. The rifle appears to have been restocked and refinished during its working life and retains 90% of the brown finish on the barrel which has distinct Damascus patterns, most of the nitre blue on the patent breech and rear sight, aged patina on the silver, bright gold, smoky gray/brown patina on the lock, silver gray patina on the furniture, some mild pitting, and general mild overall wear. The stock is also fine and has distinct checkering, some scrapes and dings, minor chipping at the tail of the lock, and a few thin cracks. The set trigger requires attention, but the lock is mechanically fine. Provenance: The W. Keith Neal Collection; The Norman R. Blank Collection. Estimate: 5,000 - 8,000

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