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    LOT 226
Rare Late 18th Century Engraved and Relief
Carved Austrian Crespi
Breech Loading Flintlock Officers Carbine by Stephan Pruner with Unique Flip-Out Spear Point
      Bayonet - NSN, 67 cal., 38 1/4 inch half octagon bbl.,
bright finish, walnut
stock. Manufactured circa 1770s-1780s, this is a rare example of an early Austrian flintlock officers carbine
utilizing Milanese gunmaker Guiseppe (Joseph) Crespi’s breech loading system, originally designed to be
a conversion of a standard muzzle loading firearm. It uses a hinged breech block chamber that tips up for
loading with powder and ball. The breech closes and locks using a rotating handle secured with a pair of
lugs mounted on top of the barrel. The Austrian Government issued carbines with Crespi’s breech loading
system and spear point bayonets to its cavalry units including the Dragoons, Carabiniers and Chevauxlegers
between 1770-1779, with multiple reports of soldiers receiving facial burns from escaping gases at the breech as well as the breech unlocking during the War of Bavarian Succession (July 3rd, 1778-May 13th, 1779). The Crespi was tried again in 1793 when it was re-issued in limited numbers to the Vienna Home Guard Volunteers but was quickly withdrawn from service again. The Crespi serves as the earliest breech loading small arm to be issued in military service, prior to the British Ferguson and later the American Hall. The British Government field trialed the Crespi system in limited numbers starting in 1785, with a few known surviving examples manufactured
by British gunmaker Durs Egg at the time of the British trials (one was previously sold by RIAC). This example likely predates the British made examples and is embellished to a high degree, indicating it was likely made for a high ranking important individual. It has a flat beveled early Austrian lock signed “STEPHAN PRUNER” at the center, and a bright smoothbore barrel with tip-up Crespi breech block signed “IN PODENDORF”. It features a half length walnut stock with attractive raised relief carvings, brass furniture, engraving on the breech tang, side plate, lock, trigger guard, and buttplate, and a flip out spear point bayonet retained by a sliding catch located on the end cap. Reference De Witt Bailey’s “British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840,” pp. 87-90 for further information regarding the Crespi system. One Austrian and two British
military examples of Crespi breech loading carbines are located in the Royal Armories museum collection (Object Number XII.2171, XII.254 and XII.1034). Crespi breech loading carbines are nearly nonexistent on the collectors market today, with this attractive embellished Austrian Crespi carbine a desirable example in its own right, and serving as one of the earliest breech loading small arms extant.
CONDITION: Very good with crisp markings on the metal surfaces and some scattered light pitting on the barrel and breech block. The lock is fine and has light age related surface markings, with crisp details and a tight mechanism. The stock is also very good as lightly sanded and re-oiled with defined relief carvings, some scattered light scratches, a minor chip and minor crack ahead of and behind the lock, a few large re-glued cracks on the left of the buttstock, a spliced and repaired section ahead of the buttplate tang, and an overall attractive figure. Mechanically excellent, the breech block raises and locks as it should. This rare Austrian Crespi breech loading officers carbine would make an excellent addition to any advanced early martial firearms collection!
Provenance: The Collection of Joe M. Wanenmacher Jr.
Estimate: 6,500 - 11,000
on the brass furniture, and moderate overall wear. The revarnished stock is also very good and has distinct tiger stripe/flame patterns throughout, a few minor cracks, general light scratches and dings, and some minor chips. Mechanically fine. Estimate: 2,500 - 4,000
 LOT 227 American Militia Style Flintlock Musket - NSN, 69 cal., 38 3/4 inch round bbl., brown finish, maple stock. This early 19th century fusil has an unmarked smoothbore barrel with a block front sight that doubles as the bayonet lug, a Capper & Co. lock with light border engraving, likely imported brass furniture similar to the British muskets of the period, sling swivels on the forend and front of the trigger guard, and highly attractive “tiger striped” maple stock with nicely shaped comb. CONDITION: Very good with an attractive mix of brown and gray patina overall, mild oxidation and pitting, some tool marks, aged patina

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