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out of the collection of the Grand Dukes of Saxe-Weimar from Schloss Ettersburg. All of the known guns of this type appear to have come from
their armory and were manufactured in the early to mid of the 18th century. Joseph Egg in London also later experimented with the idea in the early 19th century using an inverted sidelock mechanism. Inverted locks had a number advantages. One of the main benefits was that it put the lock mechanism and flash out of the shooter’s line of sight which benefited both initial aim and follow-through and may have also helped reduce flinching. Water would also be less likely to get into the pan and vent, reducing issues when shooting in wet weather. Being upside down would also cause the powder to fall away from the vent towards the sparks very slightly before ignition, and the flash would rise through the vent which together could lead to faster ignition.
On this example, the lock mechanism is built into the trigger plate and has a long arm and then a small link connecting the cock to the trigger and a simpler mainspring underneath the arm. The brass trigger guard is fitted via a short screw into the trigger plate and another at the rear into the stock. The fire blued barrel has seven-groove straight rifling for use with shot, a rounded silver blade front sight, long sighting flat, a silver inlaid design with scrolls along with a hunter and three dogs near the breech, and a chevron design at the breech end. The upper tang has a rear sight groove. The stock has very nice molding, relief and raised relief scroll carving, and brass furniture including the buttplate which has engraving on the heel extension.
CONDITION: Very fine. The barrel retains 70% of the fire blue finish and has mostly silver-gray patina where the finish is rubbed and lightly aged patina on the silver. The brass has attractive aged patina, and the trigger plate and lock have silver-gray patina. The stock is fine and has mostly crisp carving and
molding, edge wear at the breech, some stable cracks in the butt, and minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. This is an incredible piece from a well-known German royal collection and formerly the collection of well-respected antique firearms expert and collector W. Keith Neal.
Provenance: The Grand Dukes of Saxe-Weimar, Schloss Ettersburg; The W. Keith Neal Collection; Property of a Gentleman.
Estimate: 8,500 - 13,000
   LOT 3424
Incredibly Rare Documented Engraved and Silver Inlaid Straight Rifled
Long Barrel Sporting Gun with Inverted Flintlock from the Collection
of the Grand Dukes of Saxe-Weimar - NSN, 66 cal., 42 1/4 inch round bbl., blue/silver/bright finish,
walnut stock. This rare sporting gun is shown in Howard L. Blackmore’s “Guns and Rifles of the World” in figure 287
and is also pictured and discussed on pages 174-175 of “Underhammer Guns” by Herschel C. Logan. He notes it as “One of earliest, if
not the first, known arm to employ the unique principle of an underhammer. Truly a remarkable example of gunsmith ingenuity. It was sold

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