COMING IN MAY 2020
IMPRESSIVE CIRCA 1800 FRENCH EMPIRE PRESENTATION OTTOMAN GILT SILVER MOUNTED RIFLE.
inv # 01-17369
Cal. 16 Bore (about 67 cal)
BBL: Bbl. 53 1/4″ oct.
Elaborate gold damascened, marked on top flat “CANON TORDU” (twist barrel), swamped, fixed sm. pinned iron front blade sight and fixed notch rear sight at breech w/ long folding 2 1/4″ ladder sight w/ 9 round openings. Single set trigger. Touchhole is platinum lined. Lock and flat serpentine cock are engraved en suite w/ trophies of arms & dotted borders. Lock signed under waterproof platinum lined pan “Manufacture / de Versailles”. Unbridled engraved roller frizzen. Frizzen spring has two scrolled top & terminates into scrolled finial. Some other 17th and 18th century Turkish rifles are known to have high standing rear sights with numerous round apertures, though usually fixed. The European walnut stock is profusely relief carved in rococo style around checkered wrist & forearm grip, including acanthus, shells, and draped borders. Stock is inlaid w/ beautiful finely engraved silver inlays of floral motifs and flower baskets. Rococo style silver wire inlays are found wherever rifle was not carved or engraved silver inlaid. Large silver gold plated mounts are cast in high relief w/ late 18th century style French silver proofs on buttplate and trigger guard. Buttplate, sideplate & trigger bow have armorial panoplies of arms, the trigger guard has raised relief crown surrounded by clouds in a starburst. Ramrod thimbles are relief cast & engraved en suite. Mounted on rear of stock is 3/4″ tall thumb plate which is gold shield w/ engraved border. There is large cast Crescent on top of buttplate inside a starburst above armorial panoply of arms that each flag staff has crescent finial. Crescent flagstaff finials also found in armorial design of sideplate. The stock has 3 silver crescents on either side of forestock & each of the rear keyway escutcheons terminate on either side w/ crescents. This rifle most likely made for Turkish, Barbary or Ottoman presentation as to the numerous “crescent” decorations found throughout. The French, like most other countries, were paying tribute to Barbary powers until the Barbary wars ended tribute and decline of Barbary power.