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Fine and Rare Whitworth .451 Percussion Military Match Presentation Prize Rifle with Original Case and Accessories - Serial no. B40, 451 cal., 33 inch bbl., blue/casehardened/silver finish, walnut stock. This rare rifle of the type associated with Confederate sharpshooters bears a silver presentation prize plaque to the left side of the butt to the Wigan Volunteer Rifles dated 1860. With blued round barrel marked “WHITWORTH PATENT” referring to the famous hexagonal rifling, struck with Birmingham proof marks, and fitted with adjustable blade front sight and rear ladder sight. The side lock with safety catch and signed “WHITWORTH” and with crowned “W” trademark. The lock and furniture engraved with double border lines. Figured walnut straight hand three quarter length stock with checkered grip and forearm. In original oak case
blocked out for the rifle and accessories, the lid with printed Whitworth Rifle Company trade label. Whitworth rifles were highly regarded and were extremely accurate, especially when compared to a standard .577 Enfield rifle which could only manage a 25 inch group at 500 yards as opposed to the Whitworth which could produce a tight 4 1/2 inch group at the same distance.
CONDITION: Very good. The barrel retains traces of original blued finish, mostly a dark grey patina, good hexagonal bore, small amount of pitting around the percussion nipple, and clear signature. Discoloured lock, clear signature and trade mark. Furniture originally casehardened, externally discolored, patch box cover retaining faded original finish inside. Stock with some handling marks, checkering well-defined. Silver presentation plaque to the left side of the butt dated 1860 to the Wigan Volunteer Rifles. Mechanically fine. In original full length oak case with many original accessories, general age wear and staining, lid with good trade label.
Provenance: The Malcolm King Collection.
Estimate: 4,000 - 6,500
 Extremely Rare Engraved Chas. Phelps .577 Mont Storm Patent Breechloading Percussion Sporting Rifle
with Case - Serial no. 852, 577 cal., 27 1/4 inch bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut stock. Incorporating William Mont Storm’s British Patent no. 2933 of
29 November, 1860 (which referenced an earlier Patent submitted by A.V. Newton, British Patent no. 907 of 1 April, 1857), this rifle is an extremely rare example
of an early capping breechloader. Mont Storm had received a U.S. Patent in July 1856 for his hinged breech block system with locking bolt actuated by the fall of the hammer and
moved to cover his Patent in Great Britain where his design was trialed by the British Army with a view to converting the stocks of Enfield percussion rifles and carbine to breech
loaders (Snider’s Patent was eventually chosen) and he was awarded a silver medal at the Great London Exposition of 1862 for his design. The blued round tapering barrel has a block mounted bead
front sight, a sprung folding tangent rear sight graduated to “1000” yards, and a small resting block for the hinged breech. The breech section comprises a hinged breech block with lifting handle to the
right side and the percussion cap pillar, the upper surface of the breech block and parts of the breech frame are scroll engraved. Birmingham proof marks are struck on the underside of the barrel, breech frame
and hinged breech block. The standing breech is scroll engraved, marked “MONT STORM’S/PATENT/NO. 852” and incorporates the breech block locking bolt actuated by the fall of the hammer. Casehardened side lock is
signed “CHAS. PHELPS/3, POOD LANE, LONDON” and finely engraved with scrollwork and a panel scene involving a recumbent stag. Well-figured straight hand walnut half stock with checkered grip and forearm, the forearm with a sculptured dark horn cap and the underside of the butt is inset with a blank silver shield shaped initial escutcheon. Scroll engraved blued iron pistol grip trigger guard with checkered finger rest and engraved with a panel scene of a hound chasing down a running stag on the bow, and border and scroll engraved blued iron butt plate. The underside of the butt is fitted with a sling eye, the corresponding sling eye is fitted beneath the barrel. In original brass cornered mahogany fitted case lined in dark blue baize.
CONDITION: The barrel retains 90% blued finish which is beginning to thin and show a covering of small marks from cleaned light surface corrosion spotting. The breech retains a similar percentage of blued finish, has some
russet patina around the percussion cap pillar, and has clear engraved decoration. The lock
retains 20% strong original casehardened finish in the sheltered area beneath the hammer,
the remainder of the surface has a grey patina, engraving remains sharp. The stock has sharp
checkering and numerous storage and handling blemishes throughout, the horn forearm cap
has two very small surface blemishes on the left side. The trigger guard retains 40% original
blued finish with a light russet patina showing through on the checkered finger rest, the butt
plate retains 70% original blued finish with some dulled patches from cleaned light surface
corrosion marking. The barrel key escutcheon on the right side of the forearm is chipped. The
case remains in generally good condition with some damage to the top edges of the some of
the smaller partitions, the lid is cracked in two places stemming from the right rear corner and
has some old damage to both rear corners. Overall a fine example of an extremely rear earlier
breech loading percussion sporting rifle.
Provenance: The Malcolm King Collection.
Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000

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