RICHARD WILSON BRITISH FUSIL Smoothbore Musket Engraved Birds Stag Antique
18th Century Colonial, French & Indian War, Revolutionary War
Here we present an antique Wilson Signed British Smoothbore Musket, made circa the 18th Century in London, England. Richard Wilson was the first of a multigenerational family named and owned arms making company in the Minories. He was born to parents who were originally from the county of Westmorland and he was baptized in the church of St. Bottolph’s Aldgate in London in 1703. He was apprenticed to London gunmaker Thomas Green for 7 years. Upon the completion of his apprenticeship in 1725 he continued to work for Thomas and then Thomas’s wife Agnes when Thomas had passed away. They made guns on contract for the Hudson’s Bay Company as well as the Royal African Company. He took over this business from Agnes and gained The Honourable East India Company as a client in 1733. He appears to have been making guns for North America by about 1735, documents mentioning his arms by name noting their desirability. Colonies such as Georgia and South Carolina were ordering muskets and bayonets for their militias while merchants were ordering them for sale to their customers, the colonists as well as Native Americans. Richard would pass in 1766 but his son William and subsequently his grandson William II would continue the family name and business. Richard would also train Robert Barnett and it is speculated by DeWitt Bailey II, the author of an excellent article from which much of this information was gleaned, that Barnett would make up part of the Company (as in Wilson & Co.) along with Richard’s first apprentice, Robert Wilson, a relative.
This musket would have started out life as a flintlock and converted sometime after the more reliable percussion firing system was introduced—essentially, this musket would have been used from approximately the mid-18th Century through the mid-19th Century! It would have been a prized gun with its fancy cast brass side plate and trigger guard, of which you can see the outline in the remaining inletting. The pierced side plate has three deer depicted and the butt plate and thumb plate are engraved with birds. Its stock was hand-selected for its beautiful and complex grain. This was not a standard-issue military musket but a special kind of musket that certainly could have been used for fighting (and likely was) but also meant as a statement piece or status symbol.
The overall condition is fair. This old smoothbore has gorgeous bird’s eye maple wood grain. The action is not functional (no spring tension). Untouched bore. The only attachment of the barrel to the stock is the tang screw. The trigger guard is absent and it looks as though it was just as ornate as the sideplate judging by the inletting. A great piece from the Revolutionary War period that will be an excellent display piece.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 39-1/4 inches.
Caliber: approximately .78 Caliber
Overall condition as seen in photos.
Very Fast. Very Safe. FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE. Delivered directly to your door by express mail!
Guaranteed AUTHENTIC & Includes CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY.