Walnut Stocked New England Fowler



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Walnut Stocked New England Fowler

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Walnut Stocked New England Fowler
circa 1770 or later

Content Description: 

Walnut stocked New England fowler retaining its original flint ignition system. The shape of the lock plate is characteristic of the Earle/Sawyer gunsmiths of Leicester, MA or the central Worcester County area. Carving around breech plug, lock, lower thimble, and trigger guard shows a characteristic associated with early Dutch influence. There is engraving on the iron furniture including the trigger guard, lock and escutcheon plate. The lock itself is a hand-made New England lock; not an imported English lock. The forestock is split and approximately 4 1/2" are missing from one side. There is minor chipping and splitting for the full length of the forestock. The stock has had its butt altered; perhaps it once had a greater drop in the style of mid-18th century guns. Clearly, the stock has been crudely extended by two to two and one-half inches to accommodate an owner with particularly long arms and, probably, of greater than average height. The initials "A S" are carved in the left side of the stock. There is an oval silver escutcheon at the wrist which is engraved with stylized shells although not with an owner's initials. The barrel is octagonal for the first nine and one-half inches in the fashion of the mid 18th century. Despite the obvious ravages of time, this piece is a rare survival retaining original flint ignition and manifesting signs of alteration to accommodate an owner's physique. Fowler belonged to Asa Stratton, born 1758 on Northfield Mountain [Massachusetts]. Asa served in Capt. Samuel Merriman's Company of Col. Phineas Wright's Regiment from Sept. 22 to Oct. 18, 1777. He participated in the Battle of Bennington and was present at the surrender of Burgoyne. Asa Stratton died in 1818. The age of this fowler would suggest that it could have been used during this period of Asa's military service. A descendent of the Strattons gave a powder horn and this musket to OSV in August of 1979.

Physical Description: 

Iron, walnut. Greatest overall length 67 3/4" (172.1 cm); length of barrel 50 3/4" (128.9 cm)
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road,Massachusetts,Sturbridge,01566
Collection of Old Sturbridge Village