B. & J. Cooper, New York. Exceptionally rare American, silver mounted, 23-bore double barreled flintlock sporting gun, ca. 1810 - Price On Request

Šall photos copyright Lewis Drake and Associates

B. & J. Cooper, New York. Extraordinarily rare and fine American, silver-mounted, 23-bore double barreled flintlock sporting gun in the best British tradition, ca.1810. Weight: 5 ½ Lbs.  Fine 30” Damascus steel barrels with gold-lined touch-holes, excellent bores (.590”/.590”), and which externally retain much of the original brown finish. Extremely high quality, mechanically perfect, locks with internal parts retaining most of the original fire blue color left from the final “drawing” or tempering required after quenching during the hardening process. Externally the locks retain much of the original finish even in the bottoms of the pans which show little evidence of use. Nicely engraved false breech with no corrosion whatever. Handsomely engraved fine silver mounts all in superb condition as is the highly figured American Walnut stock. Original horn-tipped ramrod with functional steel worm on the hidden end.

 B. & J. Cooper were set up at 19 Partition Street, New York, N.Y. from 1803 to 1831. They were primarily rifle and pistol maker’s and very highly regarded for their excellent workmanship, particularly for their dueling pistols some of which were silver mounted. This silver mounted double flintlock sporting gun we have here is the only example, of this quality, by this or any other American maker that I am aware of.

 It is interesting to note here that, during this same time period in England, the fitting out with silver mounts of a best British Double flint gun by Joseph Manton would have almost doubled the price of an already exorbitantly expensive firearm and I cannot think why it should have been any different on our side of the pond. Add to this the fact that silver, being much softer than steel, would not hold up near so well under the rigors of field use and it is easy to understand why there are so few surviving examples today.

 As a personal side note, I had the pleasure of using this magnificent little gun in the field many seasons ago and can attest to both the speed of the ignition and it’s effectiveness on doves at all but the most extreme ranges. Overall, an incredibly rare, quite possibly unique, wholly American sporting gun by a Best American maker and remaining in superb original condition throughout.  Suitable for the finest museum collection.