Item #31370

Field's Patent Single Shot Rifle Used on the Sealing Vessel S.S. Wolf

  • Maker: Schofield
  • Model: Field
  • Caliber: .450

  • Description: Serial #1927, .450 Caliber, 28” barrel with a very good bore that has mild freckling and pitting within the grooves. This is a typically plain rifle, made by Wm. Schofield of Birmingham, using the seldom seen Field's patent sidelever, single-shot action (somewhat similar in operation to the Remington-Hepburn, but with an exposed center hammer. The barrel has a very short sporting front blade with v-notch, two leaf rear sight graduated from 100 yards to 200 yards, and retains traces of the original blue under fairly uniform plum-brown freckling with gray fading at the muzzle. Some further silvering occurs on the raised surfaces of the rear sight base, and on the frame, which has spots of bright blue under gray fading with dark brown freckling throughout. There are some further areas of pale brown freckling scattered about, mostly on the top of the receiver and on the left side flat. The breechblock and trigger guard (numbered “2181” just ahead of the bow) have speckled gray patina with light surface. The checkered walnut forend and straight-gripped buttstock have numerous minor handling marks and small blemishes throughout the very good, added oil finish. The comb has burn marks at the heel area of the comb and is deeply stamped, “WOLF/15” on the left side. The action locks up tightly and the rifle rates about very good condition overall. The S.S. Wolf was a triple masted merchant ship built at Dundee, Scotland in 1871. The ship was originally the property of Walter Grieve, a St. John's, Newfoundland merchant, but sold the vessel to the Newfoundland Sealing and Whaling Co. in 1888. The ship had a successful career before embarking on her final journey under the command of Captain Abram Kean in 1896. The ship became trapped in ice off of Fogo Head, Newfoundland, and abandoned on March 12. The ship's rifles, essential to the success of subsequent hunts, would certainly have been taken when the ship was finally abandoned. Capt. Kean was a figure of great controversy in Newfoundland, and was primarily responsible for the Great Newfoundland Sealing Disaster of 1914. He remained both heralded as an excellent ship's captain, and vilified as the man who was personally responsible for the 78 deaths that occurred. This is a wonderful piece of Newfoundland Sealing history, and would make an excellent addition to any collection. {Ref. “The British Single Shot Rifle” Vol. 1 by Walter Winfer; 1998}