Copy of Circa 1740 Brown Bess Engraved "LIBERTAS" on Lock

This great American copy of the first model Brown Bess was made in New England, and according to George Moller, George Neuman and Bill Mulhern was probably made/used by a New Hampshire Revolutionary War period militia unit. In a private conversation I had with George Neuman years ago, he stated that "LIBERTAS" was in all likelihood the motto of a Revolutionary War period New Hampshire militia unit. This American black walnut stocked musket is brass mounted and measures 57 1/4 inches overall with a 41 3/4 inch round barrel in .75 caliber. The barrel has no visible markings but does have a wedding band beauty ring at the breech. The only visible marking is "LIBERTAS" engraved in shaded block letters on the lock plate forward of the cock, below the flash pan and above the frizzen spring.  This musket follows closely the musket pictured in George Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms", Pgs 167-168. The American made brass mounts follow first model Brown Bess designs. The trigger guard is 10 inches long with a hazelnut type forward finial and a small "berry" or bead rear terminal The butt plate is slightly convex, fastened by two screws with a 3 1/2" stepped finial with a "berry" or bead terminal. The convex sideplate mimics first model Brown Bess sideplates and is 6 inches long with a "berry" type terminal. The original lock is in its original flintlock configuration is convex with a beauty line engraved around its edge and behind the original cock which is also convex with the same engraving around its outer edge. The flash pan is rounded, the original frizzen has a medial ridge and also has the same engraved beauty line on its outer edge which matches the rest of the lock components. As mentioned earlier, the lock plate has "LIBERTAS" engraved below the pan and is otherwise unmarked on the outer surface. The inner surface of the lock plate has a sunken cartouche with the letters "SR". This indicates that the lock is probably of Dutch manufacture.  The American walnut full stock is untouched and unblemished with no cracks or slivers. There are flat surfaces on both the lock and sideplate surfaces with a large beaver tail raised carving around the tapered barrel tang which is 2 1/4 inches long and is squared off.  There is a 3/4 inch brass band at the muzzle end of the stock . There are three barrel type ramrod ferrules with the entry ferrule measuring 4 3/8 inches long terminating in a point. The barrel has a bayonet stud/front sight 1 1/4 inches from the muzzle. The early forged ramrod is the button type.

The Latin term Libertas was used quite extensively during the Revolutionary War and could possibly be a shortening of "Libertas Americus" or American Liberty often referred to by Benjamin Franklin. There were several Revolutionary War period medals struck with variations of the term Libertas used including a medal presented to George Washington in 1776 in honor of the liberation of Boston from the British. This scarce musket with "LIBERTAS" engraved on the lock plate is only one of four or five known, three of which are of the Brown Bess form and one or two of the Charleville form (but American made).

Condition: Pristine for its age and use. The lock is original to the musket and in original flint (i.e. it was never converted to percussion).The stock has been lightly cleaned but with plenty of original patina. There are no cracks or splits in the stock and the wood area around the lock is pristine with no missing or replaced wood. The iron sling which would be attached to the trigger guard is missing but the forward one is in place. There is a piece of wood ramrod stuck in the ramrod tunnel about 5" from the rear entry ferrule, so the forged iron ramrod does not penetrate completely in. This probably explains why this musket is in such pristine condition: didn't get much use. I have an associated original period bayonet which fits this available for $400.    **SOLD**