Original Rare British Early Royal Navy Sea Service 37" Barrel Brown Bess Flintlock Musket by Wilson with Socket Bayonet - dated 1761

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. This is a true "CLASSIC" in all respects! This is a fantastic early "Sea Service" Brown Bess Musket, much like the later "Nelson Musket" introduced in 1777, but predating it by almost 20 years. It features an original British Proofed 37 inch long .75" barrel set in its original walnut stock, which bears just TWO ramrod pips. Quite correctly a throat pipe was never installed leaving just the two brass forward pipes to retain the brass tipped wooden ram rod. These were mainly used on board to repel boarding parties, and would later would be widely issued prior to the Napoleonic wars.

The early pattern lock has the correct single screw behind the hammer, and is engraved on the lock plate with CROWN over G.R. to center and is signed and dated WILSON / 1761 across the lock plate tail. After 1764, maker names and dates would no longer be listed on the locks, so this is completely correct. There is also the CROWN / BROAD ARROW lock viewer's mark under the pan partially under the frizzen spring. It has a lovely swan neck cock, and a pan with a frizzen reinforcement bridle.

The barrel is marked on the top with a somewhat hard to read CROWN / GR proof as well as a CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS from William Ketland in the city of Birmingham. His company made many guns and parts for other makers in both Birmingham and London, and his marking would be so wide spread that in 1813 it was adopted as the proof mark of the City of Birmingham Gun Company. There are also proof marks stamped into the wood in various places

The stock is fitted with the typical "Naval' trigger guard with a brass disc nose. The Naval butt plate is of correctly folded brass construction with three flush securing screws. The side plate is also of the tailed flat design. The stock is a lovely "bannister rail" style, with the beveled area surrounding the barrel tang. This pattern does not have a nose cap or lower ramrod pipe.

The condition of this rare musket is very nice, with a lovely patina on the metalwork, and fantastic condition stock. There are assembly markings in the ramrod channel, as well as on other components of the musket. Both sling swivels are present, as is the original brass tipped wooden ramrod. The lock functions correctly, holding at half cock and firing at full.

The included bayonet is in good condition, and looks exactly like a bayonet that saw service on sea should. The entire surface bears significant oxidation, with past pitting and scaling evident. It has been cleaned up a bit, but still has a lovely matured patina on the exterior. It fits the musket well, though it can be difficult to remove.

A fantastic example of a very hard to find Early Brown Bess Sea Service Musket, complete with its original bayonet! These are much harder to come by than the later "Nelson Musket" introduced in 1777. This musket comes from an old Collection in England which I.M.A. purchased during 2023. Ready to research and display!

Specifications (Musket):-

Year of Manufacture: 1761
Caliber: .80" Musket - probably worn
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 37 inches
Overall Length: 53 inches
Action: Flintlock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

Specifications (Bayonet):-

Blade length: 16 1/2"
Blade style: Triangular Socket
Socket Length: 4"
Overall length: 21"

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