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Confederate-Marked Enfield P-53 Musket

This is a very nice untouched example of a Confederate Pattern 1853 Three Band Rifled Musket manufactured by Barnett of London. This came from Corky Huey's collection several years ago, who was an advanced Civil War collector and authority on Confederate-marked English weapons. Corky co-authored the book, The English Connection which took many years of dedicated research and careful study of thousands of artifacts. Sadly, he passed away just months prior to its long-awaited release at the Baltimore show in March 2015. To have been in his collection, this had to have been a very strong example and was probably found many years ago at a time when higher condition Enfields were still occasionally found. It was also a time when relatively few collectors and dealers knew about Confederate markings. In fact, there is a close-up of the lock-plate area of this rifle pictured in the book on page 102 of the book.

Personally speaking, to find a Confederate Enfield in this condition is not something we encounter on the market very often. It is simply a super-crisp rifle with great markings and an incredible untouched patina. Most of these went straight into the front lines where they typically show 2-5 times the amount of wear and abuse than most Union-used examples display today. This one has two sets of Confederate viewer markings, the first being the Type 1 Sinclair Hamilton Company markings in the form of SH over C with the crown above and arrow beneath. This is located just in front of the upper wood just forward of the buttplate. Archibald Hamilton was a Confederate purchasing agent, Caleb Huse's "go to" guy for procurement of British-made weapons for the Confederacy. In addition to being the superintendent of the London Armoury, his intimate knowledge of English gunmakers allowed the South to secure contracts with the best makers in London as well as Birmingham during the first year of the Civil War. He worked for a 2% commission for each Enfield purchased for the South. Since quality varied from maker to maker, Hamilton hired viewers to inspect each rifle to assure it was serviceable which is where the SH over C stamp comes into play. There are several types of Sinclair Hamilton markings noted in the book with this one being classified as a Type 1. See page 111. The second marking is located on the left side of the stock opposite the buttplate and is marked "I.C." This marking is often found on Barnetts and is believe to stand for either Isaac Curtiss or Isaac Campbell & Company. This marking without the oval border is noted as a Type 1, block, "I.C" on page 112. Both of these markings are also cited in The Confederate Enfield by Captain Steven W. Knott, USN (ret).

Condition-wise, this musket is in attic condition that grades to NRA Antique Fine. The stock has nearly all of its original varnish with perfect wood to metal fit. There is no burnout of the wood behind the bolster. The metal has a very rich dark brown patina, 150 years in the making. Brass has a dark patina which is almost black in protected areas. Never cleaned. Very sharp markings throughout which include the Barnett London markings and London Barrel Proofs. Complete with original rear sight, swivels, ramrod, and even the original chained nipple protector. Ironically however, the cylindrical cone of the nipple was broken off long ago. An original nipple will be provided free of charge if desired. Mechanics are perfect. Nice bore that is still fairly bright with its original three groove rifling intact. All in all, this is a fantastic Confederate Enfield with the added bonus that it once resided in Huey's collection and is pictured in his book.

Item# 9406




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