Original Silver Mounted Flintlock Blunderbuss by Schumski of Vienna with Emblems of the Prussian von Steuben Family c.1730
Original Item: One of a Kind. This is a very high quality Viennese Flintlock Blunderbuss, made by Schumski of Vienna, displaying the Ottoman influence of the Siege of Vienna in the 1680's. Measuring 32" in overall length with a gold inlaid iron barrel of 19 1/2". It is beautifully mounted in SILVER including Butt Plate, Side Plate, Trigger Guard, two Barrel Bands and an oval Escutcheon displaying the FAMILY CREST of the BARONS VON STEUBEN OF MAGDEBURG.
The walnut stock bears some contour carving and is not cut for a ram rod. The brass lock is totally engraved with hunting scenes and the Crest of the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE to tail. The flintlock Cock is most unusual being mounted "in" the lock plate. Not behind or in front but within the plate itself. It is flat faced and runs flush with the lock plate and is engraved with the maker's name around the circular body of the hammer: SCHVMSKI IN WIENN. Just possibly the iron barrel dates to the Ottoman period of the Siege of Vienna and was repurposed in the early 1700"s. The iron barrel suffers from severe pitting but still retains masses of the thick Gold embellishment it started life with. Certainly a very important early Austrian Blunderbuss which was owned by PRUSSIAN ARISTOCRACY.
The BARONS VON STEUBEN were the family of the Prussian, and later American Revolutionary Officer MAJOR GENERAL FREDERICH VON STREUBEN. Born in 1730 in MAGDEBURG in PRUSSIA this Officer served in the Prussian Army from 1747 and rose to be A.D.C. to KING FREDERICK THE GREAT in 1762 during the SEVEN YEARS WAR. (1756-1763). Frustrated by rumors of Homosexuality in Europe he arrived in Portsmouth New Hampshire on December 1st 1777.
At the recommendation of his friend BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, who he had previously known in PARIS, he presented himself to General George Washington at Valley Forge as a "Volunteer". His experience under Frederick the Great so impressed Washington that he was appointed Inspector General and was confirmed by THE U.S. CONGRESS on May 5th 1778 with the rank of Major General in the Continental Army. He actually fought at Valley Forge, Monmouth, Blandford and was present at the Siege of Yorktown in 1782.
During the winter of 1778/1779 he personally wrote the REGULATIONS FOR THE ORDER AND DISCIPLINE OF THE TROOPS OF THE UNITED STATES, known as THE BLUE BOOK, which is still, with updates, in use today. He became a legend during his own lifetime, never married and left his estate to his two Assistant Officers when he died in 1794 aged 64 years.
This lovely high quality blunderbuss, made just about when this American hero was born gives the blunderbuss a fascinating provenance with a connection to the Revolutionary War. Ready to be displayed!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1730
Ammunition Type: Lead Shot & Powder
Barrel Length: 19 1/2 inches
Overall Length: 32 inches
Action: Flintlock Side Action
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded
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