Original British Sea Service Flintlock Brass Barreled Blunderbuss by John Dafte- Circa 1690

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Another extraordinary piece acquired in IMA’s purchase of the Strakarty collection of Vienna, Austria.

John Dafte was admitted to the Gunmaker's Company on November 12th 1668. He set up shop in Boswell Court near Sheare Lane in London where he survived in business until his death in 1697. One of the best known London Gun makers of his day, he was continually skirting trouble, not only with the Proof House, The Gun Maker's Company (Guild) but also with the Government with an attempt on the life of King Charles the Second in 1683.

On May 19th 1685, the British Secretary of State, Robert Spencer, the Earl of Sutherland, ordered Dafte arrested and brought to trial for supplying the "Rye House" Conspirators, as they became known, with the arms used in the failed assassination.

Fortunately Dafte was able to clear himself in the spring of 1686. In 1694 John Dafte became Master of the Gun Maker's Company but died just three years later.

This Brass barreled Blunderbuss has to be one of the earliest recorded British Naval Blunderbusses in existence. It has a 19" swamped brass barrel with raised portion to rear directly in front of the steel tang (and breech plug). The tang securing bolt is inverted it's head being under the front part of the unusual steel trigger guard which itself has the early "round" front finial later associated with British Naval firearms. The Brass butt plate is typically flat and folded over at the top and is secured correctly by nails. The Brass side plate is very reminiscent of the first model Brown Bess style and no doubt influenced the style that was later adopted as the Official Government pattern. The Steel lock is Strawberry leaf engraved showing strong "J. DAFTE" signature in block letters. There is only one ramrod pipe in brass midway along the channel and the weapon was never designed with a throat mount.

A massively rare and unusual British Sea Service Blunderbuss of very early vintage. The overall length is 35" with a very pleasing ready to display patina, making this an extraordinary addition to any collection.

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