Original British 1672 Queen Anne Blunderbuss by John Smart of London - Princeton Battlefield Museum

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. IMA has acquired a collection of authentic American Revolutionary War and Indian War weapons which, for the past 20 years, have been on display at the Princeton Battlefield State Park Clarke House Museum located in Princeton, New Jersey. This blunderbuss was part of that renowned collection.

This firearm is a large, rare 17th century Queen Anne period British naval blunderbuss. These type guns were probably first manufactured in Holland and the term "blunderbuss" appears to have been derived from the Dutch words for "thunder box". They are bell-mounted wide bore firearms that were loaded with several shots of iron and were lethal at short range. This gun is 42 1/2 inches overall. The 7 inch long flintlock firing mechanism is fitted with what is termed a "dog-lock", which is an external safety catch used to engage the cock. There is no external bridle on the flashpan and the letters IS are stamped into the lockplate.
The heavy walnut stock is fitted with only one ramrod guide. The 27 3/8 inch brass barrel has a 1 3/4 inch bore at the flared muzzle. It is marked on the left side of the breech with British 1672 proof marks as well as again being marked IS. This is believed to be the mark of John Smart of London, a 17th century British gunmaker who worked from about 1670 to 1690. The sheet brass buttplate is nailed to the buttstock, a feature found on very early British flintlock firearms. There is no escutcheon or sideplate but a side carrying ring is incorporated.
This heavy shoulder arm resembles a small 17th cannon and is an extremely rare example of a signed and identified 17th century military weapon. Photographs of this Blunderbuss appeared in the May 1994 issue of The Gun Report in an article entitled, "Colonial Firearms Displayed at the Princeton Battlefield". This weapon was previously on display at the Thomas Clarke House, in the Princeton Battlefield State Park of New Jersey, in a special exhibit called, "Arms of the Revolution".


Year of Manufacture: Circa 1672-1681

Caliber: .75" Musket
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Overall Length: 57.5 inches
Barrel Length: 42 inches
Action: Flintlock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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