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Item #23053

Antique English Fowler by Griffin & Tow Grip Safety Device

  • Price: $1,695.00
  • Maker: English
  • Model: Percussion
  • Caliber: .71 Cal

  • Description: NSN, .71 Caliber (approx. 13 Bore), 33" octagonal breech barrel with a very good bore that has some light-moderate freckling and pitting near the muzzle. This is a handsome fowler, made ca. 1780, that has been professionally converted to percussion and has a dark brown, heavily pitted patina along the barrel which is round at the muzzle with a wedding band transition to octadecagonal and again to octagonal. The percussion breech piece is maker marked "LEECH" and has small decorative floral vignettes as well as inlaid gold double lines. The "GRIFFIN/&/TOW" marked lock is also lightly pitted with nicely engraved 18th century floral scroll and a geometric border. The dog-faced hammer has a similar patina but only has some mild freckling along its length and the lock is tight and fully functional. The half-length walnut stock has an old added varnish over numerous small handling marks and bruises and is fastened by two wedges. There is an ornately carved shell and drapery design along the top of the wrist with an intricate knurling pattern along the wrist itself and there are some small repairs near the lightly chipped horn forend cap. The triggerguard is mostly dark gray (again, with rather heavy surface pitting) and terminates in a large acorn finial. An ingeniously designed period forend grip safety assembly is installed on the right side which is composed of a shaped sheet iron housing with wooden bolster, pivot plate, small tongue-shaped keeper/guide, leaf spring, and an angled iron arm used as a trigger block. The arm acts as a passive trigger block until the user grips the forend thus pressing down on the exposed tail causing the arm to swing away from the trigger and allowing the gun to be fired. Releasing one's grip on the forend allows the spring to rotate the arm back into position preventing backwards travel of the trigger. While still fully operational, the safety now has enough play at the pivot point to allow the trigger to trip the sear even when fully engaged. The condition of the safety metal matches the barrel and triggerguard and must be either original to the gun or added prior to the percussion conversion. The gun comes with a brass-tipped wooden ramrod held by two plain thimbles and an ornate spear-shaped tail-pipe. This is a handsome and unusual British gun in fine condition that displays a great deal of mechanical ingenuity and craftsmanship. Antique