Over the years, we've been very fortunate to have discovered a few good examples of Confederate JS Anchor marked 3 band Pattern 53 Enfields. These were imported from Great Britain during the Civil War through the blockade. This however, is the first time we've found the shorter and much scarcer Pattern 1861 Artillery Carbine with JS Anchor markings. In a conversation with an expert on Enfields, we were told that he had only seen about 15 known examples of JS Anchor marked Artillery carbines over the course of several decades of collecting. There are other Enfields out there that are just as Confederate as this gun with lesser known markings like the Anchor S, Caleb Huse, and Sinclair Hamilton & Co. marked guns but the JS Anchor is still the most desired marking amongst Civil War collectors as it is universally and unquestionably accepted as Confederate. Today, these are rare finds and in spite of hard searching, we are lucky if we find one per year. This is the first and only JS Anchor carbine we have EVER encountered.
The gun is a standard Artillery carbine with 24" barrel with bayonet lug and 2 leaf sight. Correct for the carbines and 2 band rifles, the original brass triggerguard is solid with no hole for a sling swivel like those found on 3 band muskets. Swivels are located on the front band and in the base of the stock. The lockplate is marked Tower over 1861 with a crown behind the hammer that has no royal cypher..correct for a commercially sold Enfield pattern. This particular carbine was the product of Birmingham, England. The left side of the barrel is marked with Birmingham proofs and the bore size, "25" in two places which stands translates to .577 Caliber. The letters JS over the anchor symbol on this carbine are faint but still visible just behind the triggerguard on the bottom of the stock. We took several pictures that if you study very closely will show this faint mark. The blockade numbers at the top toe of the buttplate reads "1352" so its an early one and probably was probably a part of one the first shipments delivered in the Fall of 1861. When the numbers reached 10,000, the numbering system started over again a letter "A" was engraved to symbolize 10,000. In front of the buttplate tang is a faint large letter "S" placed stamped in the wood. It appears someone tried to rub out the number long ago but its still quite visible. The "S" stands for "Scott and Son" who was one of the five main suppliers who sold Enfields through Archibald Hamilton to Confederate buyers Caleb Huse and Major Alexander. While some JS Anchor Enfields were never marked, there are often five main initials of suppliers encountered on surviving these guns...they were Bond "B", James "J", Scott & Son "S", Kerr "K", and Freed & Co. "F".
Overall condition is NRA Antique Good with the metal turned to a dark patina overall. The brass shows evidence of having been cleaned long ago that is now aging back to a more mellow patina. Good markings overall with borderline engraved lock and hammer. Action still works at both half and full cock positions. Bore is dirty and undisturbed but using a bore light, we found its original 3 groove rifling intact. The rear sight is amazingly still intact with both 200 and 300 yard leaves present. The vast majority of carbines we've found over the years have either lost these sights or the leaves are broken. Bayonet lug is present and solid. Even the original lanyard on the triggerguard for securing the nipple protector chain is still present. The ramrod is a reproduction that has been aged to match the gun. The wood is in good solid condition overall with generally good profiles and nice open grain that has not been sanded. There are two inlays on the left side of the stock...crude star-shaped symbols that appear to be made of lead that was poured into the inletted designs perhaps from melted down minie balls. Looks to us like a bored Confederate soldier's attempt at some art work while sitting around the camp fire one night. A very good example of an extremely rare Confederate marked Enfield Carbine.