A good brass barrelled flintlock blunderbuss
A good brass barrelled flintlock blunderbuss by James Wilkinson of Bristol c 1815, associated with the Bristol Riots of 1831. The flared barrel with turned reinforces at the muzzle is struck with Birmingham proof marks and the maker’s mark of a bird beneath a pellet, and engraved BRISTOL. The signed stepped lockplate is fitted with a roller bearing frizzen spring. The engraved brass furniture includes a pineapple finialled trigger guard engraved with Britannia’s shield upon foliage. The walnut fullstock is finely chequered at the grip, and it retains its original horn tipped wooden ramrod with steel worm. Excellent age patina.
Barrel length 14” (35.5cms) Overall length 29¼” (74.4cms)
James Wilkinson, gunsmith Bristol, Gloucestershire, 1784; 1812-1818. Provenance: Lawrences (Taunton saleroom) 4th March 1998 lot 298 with the footnote: “The Budgett family of Bristol are believed to have used this blunderbuss during the Bristol Riots”. Lawrences of Crewkerne are a long established and reputable firm of auctioneers. The Bristol Riots took place on 31st October 1831 when a crowd protested at the House of Lords’ refusal to ratify the Reform Act by burning down 100 houses, the Bishop’s Palace, the Customs House, the Mansion House and 3 prisons setting the prisoners free. The Dragoons attacked the crowds and hundreds were killed and severely wounded. Sold with a contemporary biography by W. Arthur “The Successful Merchant: Sketches of the Life of Mr Samuel Budgett, late of Kingswood Hill” 1852.