“No. 39” Antique WICKHAM M1816 FLINT Musket c1834
Fantastic Example from Marine T. Wickham!
Here we present an antique Wickham Model 1816 Musket manufactured circa 1834 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Marine T. Wickham, and was typically used by the militia in the early 1800s. “Probably the most notable armorer to work at Harpers Ferry before 1816 was Wickham. Residing in Philadelphia, Wickham served as an inspector of contract arms and general troubleshooter at the national armory between 1811 and 1816. Wickham possessed great talent as a gunsmith. More important, he exhibited a rare ability to manage men effectively while at the same time retaining their admiration and respect. Wickham decided to enter the world of private business after the War of 1812. Upon resigning his inspectorship in 1816, he took over an existing musket contract with the United States and later that year signed his first regular contract for 4,000 arms at $14 a stand. Then, on July 19, 1822, he signed a contract with the U.S. Ordinance Department for 5,000 Model 1816 muskets at $12 per stand, delivered at the rate of 2,000 per year starting on January 1, 1823. In December of 1823, he undertook an additional contract for 10,000 muskets beginning on July 1, 1824. Not surprisingly two of his largest accounts were the Harpers Ferry and Springfield armories. Both ventures prospered and Wickham continued to garner wealth from them until his death in 1834. His rise from an obscure country workshop to a leading arms manufacturer and businessman was a truly impressive achievement.
This musket was made 1 year prior to the Texas War for Independence, 12 years prior to the Mexican-American War and 27 years prior to the Civil War. This was a period defined by Westward expansion and fighting with the neighbors, namely Mexico and Native Americans as each pushed back to stem the flow of settlers in respective territories.
This one remains in its original flintlock configuration and is set apart from the relatively few others that Wickham made for his contract by the neat, large German silver “No 39” that is set into the right side of the stock. Good, clear inspector markings on the left side of the barrel and the remnant of a cartouche on the left stock flat.
The overall condition is near fine. Untouched patina. Great, smooth bore with decades worth of dust. The action remains excellent.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 42 1/8 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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