Original Belgian Manufactured Brown Bess Musket dated 1806 - Possibly made for Sikh Empire
Original Item: One Only. Hard to believe that any European Nation would manufacture Brown Bess Muskets for England's enemies, but unfortunately it is true. Belgium, always a big arms manufacture, and for the longest time under the influence of France, had even made Brown Bess Muskets for the British Crown in the late 18th. Century. Britain had a war in America and was expanding its hold in India and many other places in the world, Britain was the MARKET.
This Brown Bess clone was made almost certainly after the Battle of Waterloo using surplus components. Overall length of the musket is 56 inches, and the stock is in good restored condition. No structural issues with a great finish. The barrel of just about 39 inches bears Belgian E.L.G. proof marks as well as an Indian Elephant with Howdah engraved into the top of the barrel. The fittings are all of brass however just a tad smaller than on a standard Brown Bess Musket. The musket has FOUR ram rod pipes, a tradition abandoned by the British in the 1790s, and the lock, although similar in appearance is in fact of French origin we suspect. It is marked MLL by the frizzen spring, and dated 1806 across the tail. It is shorter than a standard Brown Bess lock and has a Flintlock Cock that may very well have started life on a French Charlesville musket. Additionally the Musket has a "thumb piece" or "escutcheon", again of British design, but that ceased to be used after about 1765, again however smaller than the British equivalent.
I suspect this Musket was especially made for the SIKH EMPIRE in the Punjab of India. Sikhs are, for want of a better term, extreme Hindus, and are a "Warrior Sect". Relations with the East India Company came to head with the First Sikh War of 1845/6 followed two years later with the Second Sikh war of 1848/49 when the British routed the Sikh Empire. Gradually Great Britain took total control of all India which at the time included what is today Pakistan, Bangladesh and modern day India.
A very hard to find Indian Contract Brown Bess, totally cleaned and ready to display.
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