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Please help me identify this black powder flintlock?

2937 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Tylerselph
I have been looking to purchase this flintlock but need help finding details of this model. I am providing pictures with the following identifying marks. On the barrell it has a proofmark that is an oval with the letters E over LG over a star shape. It also has a proof mark that is a crown over the letters SO. The butt of the gun has the numbers 26 LSt. b over the numbers 1644. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...


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Well, for a start it is Belgian - the ELG over * in an oval is the Liege Proof house mark for arms made to this day. When this was made Belgium probably did not exist as a separate nation. Crown over SO is probably an inspection mark. There should also be a stamp that looks like Nelson's Column in London - this is called the Perron, and was a mark of Liege-made arms between 1672 and 1810. Therefore, if it is absent it might signify that the arm was made post 1810.

A real expert will identify the arm, but it is no doubt martial - the 26 LSt. over B and #1644 are probaly military unit ID stamps.

The photo's a bit dark to see details of the lock and any markings that might be there; your description of the barrel markings sound Belgian to me - arms for many nations were produced in Liege, Belgium during the early - mid 19th Century when this dates from, ca. 1830. It has many of the features of French arms of the period, like the finger grooves on the triggerplate, and the spring-held barrel bands; but the reverse mainspring isn't French. My guess would be one of the then-many Germanic states or principalities like Brunswick or Saxony. As you may know, the markings on the buttplate tang are "rack numbers" ( 1644 ), that are either the weapon's number ( since this pre-dates manufacturer's serial numbers ), place in storage, or possibly number of the soldier to which it was issued; and unit designation ( 26 LSt. b ) - like "26th Landwehr, co. B"?
TFoley - your post beat mine, slightly! Belgium became a separate nation in 1814 following Napoleon I's first abdication; prior to that ( 1790's - 1814 ) it was a department of France. ( The French had "liberated" it from Austria in the Revolutionary wars. ) The Belgian army formed a division ( under Baron Perponcher with attached cavalry ) of Wellington's force at Waterloo, Belgium in 1815 resisting Napoleon's return. ( The Crown Prince of Orange was technically Wellington's second-in-command, though he was only a boy in his 20's. ) Once their small kingdom was firmly secure from foreign claim, they became Europe's and the world's main arsenal. Stylistically, this is definitely "post 1810".
The markings on the tang of the buttplate, "26 LSt. over B and #1644" demote the Prussian "26th Landsturm Regiment but it is not a military gun, it is a "trade" musket made in Belgium for sale to native populations in Africa where the indigenous people were not allowed to have modern arms. This particular one has been made with surplus military parts, new and used, that were in inventory. The barrel and lock are the only parts made specifically for use on this gun. Most parts, the trigger guard, and bands, are of French style and the buttplate probably came from a Prussian M1809 musket as is evidenced by the Landsturm markings. The musket this buttplate came from had been stored for Landsturm use in the mid-19th Century when the Prussians went to the Dreyse needle fire breach loaders. By the 1870s, these guns were surplus to even the Landsturm and the guns were either sold or broken up, thus this gun had to have been produced no earlier than the last quarter of the 19th Century, say after 1880 and maybe as late as the time leading up to WW2.

These guns were heavily imported into the US post-WW2 as decorators and really received a boost in popularity from the Davy Crockett craze of the 1950s.

As a side note on the Landsturm, they were untrained elderly or unfit younger individuals who were to only serve near their homes in case of invasion and received third class arms in most cases - they were classic "speed bump" troops. They were not actually activated until WW1 when some saw front line service but most guarded rear areas and POW camps in Germany.
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Thanks for your thoughts... Do you have any idea what this gun may be worth?
Thanks for your help. Do you have any thoughts on what this gun may be worth?
It looks like an African "trade" musket made from surplus parts. I recall seeing ads for these in the 1960s. The value of the gun is in the parts that could be used to restore another musket. Not much. It is best left as a wall hanger decoration piece.
I agree with musketshooter. It may be worth a couple hundred as a wall-hanger, but that is just my opinion, others (including the seller maybe) will feel differently.
Thanks so much for your thoughts and suggestions. Have a great day..!
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