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69 cm barrel, total length 108 cm
twisted steel, iron, wood
first quarter, 19th century
UK art market
An exceptionally rare North Indian flintlock blunderbuss from the first half of the 19th century. The barrel is made of twisted steel and is belled towards the muzzle, beautifully chiseled decorations representing two facing peacocks behind the muzzle and scrollwork ahead of the breech, the latter incorporating a standing back-sight, engraved lock in the European taste, fitted with engraved cock, semi-rainproof pan, stock in two sections with small cracks and chips, carved with foliage about the tang, hooked butt formed with a characteristic bifurcated fishtail terminal, iron mounts including scrolling trigger-guard with pineapple finial, and a ramrod. Overall size is 109 cm/ 69 cm barrel.
This type of gun is usually attributed to North India. Some 19th century photographs and drawings show tribesmen of the ‘yusufzai’ and the ‘Rohilla’. These tribes are located in the Rohilkhand region in the northwestern part of Uttar Pradesh and some Yusufzai in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa SWAT valley.
Very good condition. Some small dents and a chip at the muzzle. The gun stock is re-oiled. Rare and impressive piece.
The National Galleries Scotland have some daguerreotype photographs depicting europeans dressed as Indians with a similar gun. Photo by Robert Adamson & David Octavius Hill, 'Mr Lane [called John Lane, Dr Lane and Edward William Lane]' [c] 1843. © Creative Commons CC
A picture of a Rohilla tribesman holding a similar gun. © Hooper and Western Photos.
A drawing of a Yusufzai horseman.
Literature: A flintlock gun of related form is illustrated R. Hales 2013, p. 279, no. 680.
A similar gun was sold at Thomas del Mar, 4 December 2013, lot 48. for 1900£.
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