Duke of Wellington's Rifle
Antique rifle made for the Duke of Wellington
Unique Bohemian percussion turn-over rifle by Csakberenyben of Vienna with 25in hexagonal .58 cal. rifled barrels made for the Duke of Wellington.
The back action lock is signed 'Muller & Jonas'. It has a set trigger, the turn-over release forms part of the trigger guard. The stock is made from 2 pieces with detachable fore-end. The original ramrod is made from ebony and tipped with brass.
The original case is made in the London style and contains the original loading accessories including the bullet mould made by John Norton.
This rifle, complete in its case, was discovered in 1947 following a fire at Stratfield Saye, the Duke of Wellington's estate. It was previously unknown until found in a cupboard under the stairs by firemen. Subsequently it was cleaned by Turners of Reading, Gunmakers, they arranged its sale to Dr Rabett who displayed it in his museum in Rochester. It remained there until May 1989 when it was sold to a collector by Sothebys and later puchased by John Slough.
The full story of why the Duke of Wellington owned this rifle and in particular the association with John Norton's bullet which was the forerunner of the Minnie ball, can be found in the 89th London Antique Arms Fair Guide of Autumn 2012; an article 'A Rifle of Distinction' in Black Powder Magazine 1991 by Duncan Bedford; John Norton's book of his military inventions published 1860.
The rifle comes with a letter from Peter Hawkins and a letter of authentication from Turners of Reading.
To mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo I am offering this gun for sale and will donate 10% of the sale price to the charity Combat Stress.