REVOLUTIONARY WAR M1740 Prussian FLINTLOCK Musket With Fascinating Document from 1800!
Guns International #: 101275299 Seller's Inventory #: 8435
Category: Antique Rifles - Flintlock - Military Rifles - Antique
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REVOLUTIONARY WAR M1740 Prussian FLINTLOCK Musket
With Fascinating Document from 1800!
Here we present an antique Prussian Potsdam Model 1740 Flintlock Musket, made circa 1770, With a Bill of Sale for a Ship, the Agenoria, to William H. Vernon of Newport, Rhode Island. These flintlock muskets were adopted by the Prussian military in 1740 and used right the way through the Napoleonic Wars of the early-19th Century. These muskets were also used on American soil during the American Revolutionary War as Britain leased troops from the Germanic states. On the other side of the battle lines was Baron von Steuben, a Prussian who was Inspector General and Major General of the Continental Army during the Revolution against Britain.
This musket bears much resemblance to the British Brown Bess in its lack of barrel bands, instead utilizing a pinned barrel. This musket’s lock is marked “1770” with punched dots at the top and bottom and each side, like a compass. The interior is marked with a single cross. The underside of the side plate is marked with a “P”. The hardware is of brass with distinct finials.
This musket includes a bill of sale in which merchant and mariner attorney Samuel Chace assigns 2/3 of his vessel, the Agenoria, to William H. Vernon. William Henry Vernon was the son of William Vernon Sr. who was himself a merchant along with his brother Samuel. These men were also known to have supported the Patriot cause during the Revolutionary War. In fact, the senior Vernon was appointed the president of the Eastern Navy Board (a precursor to the Secretary of the Navy) by the Continental Congress in 1777, in which office he worked to develop a rebel navy. Uncle Samuel Vernon was one of theanizers of the Stamp Act Riots of 1765, a prelude to the Revolutionary War. William Henry Vernon Jr. would go to France in 1778 with John Adams and John Quincy Adams (aged 11 at the time) on Adams’ first diplomatic voyage to France. The younger Vernon apparently took to French culture and King Louis XVI took to him, and he stayed for many years. The Vernon home would meanwhile host the Comte de Rochambeau as his headquarters in 1780 before the French & American victory at Yorktown. It is known that the Marquis de Lafayette, General George Washington, and other leaders stayed in the house during this time.
After the American Revolution, young Vernon continued to have a place in the court of King Louis XVI, that is until the French Revolution caused Louis to lose his head. He spent a brief period imprisoned by the rebels. He survived the French Revolution himself and finally left France and returned home to Newport in 1796 or 1797, though not emptyhanded. In fact, he returned home with a treasure trove of over 50 Old Master paintings by the likes of Titian, Van Dyck, and Michelangelo, establishing the most extensive art collection in the new United States at that time. One of the most intriguing pieces that he returned with was a version of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa that he believed was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci himself! In 1800, we find him purchasing 2/3 of the Agenoria, a seagoing vessel that the document describes as being over 65’ in length, over 20’ in breadth, and weighing about 114 tons. William Henry Vernon lived until 1833 and the “American” Mona Lisa painting was passed down through the family until 1995, when it was sold by Sotheby’s House to a private and heretofore unknown buyer.
The overall condition is very good. The metal surfaces are dark with age. The markings are clear and legible. The stock is smooth and solid. The bore is smooth and dusty. The action is excellent.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 41-3/8 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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