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Joined: Jul 2014
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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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That Genez conversion makes your standard boxlock or sidelock look positively dull. The face with the raised bosses resembles the Dougall Lockfast. The long lever is very attractive, and probably very sound mechanically. I've never seen another one. Some makers specialized in conversions, perhaps Genez was one who did? Any American-linked pinfire, in this case involving New York (AG Genez), is a rare find indeed, thanks for posting it. Great pictures!

Another type of conversion is when a maker uses existing or old stock from which a conversion is made. I believe this gun is one of these, an 8 lb 3 oz 10-bore by James Woodward of London, converted from a Charles Moore percussion pellet-lock gun (where detonation involved spherical pellets of mercury fulminate coated with iron oxide, each about 2mm in diameter). The 30 11/16" twist barrels (not damascus) suggest a very early date. The wide top rib is signed "James Woodward 64 St. James Street London," and the duck's head-style bar-action locks are signed "C. Moore Patent". Charles Moore and James Woodward were at 64 St. James Street between 1843 and 1872. In 1827 Charles Moore invented the "isolated" or "bar-in-wood" lock ("island" locks are usually back-action locks, so an isolated bar lock is quite special on a sporting gun). Such locks were found on Charles Moore pellet-lock guns, which pre-date the copper percussion cap, and the words "C. Moore Patent" might refer to patent No. 4611 granted to William Westley Richards for the pellet-lock in 1821, as Moore was building his guns to this patent (or he may have further adapted the patent -- I haven't been able to confirm this). Moore percussion guns and pistols also carry this inscription on their locks, which may indicate their being conversions from pellets to percussion caps. It would appear the gun was re-built by Woodward using Moore isolated locks fitted and adapted to a breech-loading action, perhaps taken from existing stock, or from a gun returned to the makers. Another clue is the style of engraving on the locks is different with a more open foliate design, rather than the tighter scroll elsewhere on the gun.

Charles Moore was the son of William Moore, a maker already covered in this thread. Charles Moore was appointed furbisher to St. James Palace and Hampton Court in 1829, and as gunmaker to William IV in 1836. In 1827 James Woodward joined the firm as an apprentice. He later became head finisher, and in 1843 Woodward was made a partner, and the firm started to trade as Moore & Woodward at 64 St James's Street. Charles Moore died in 1848, and in 1851 the name was changed to James Woodward, becoming James Woodward & Sons in 1872. The firm was sold to James Purdey & Sons in 1949.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

To see examples of Charles Moore island locks and lock inscriptions, a simple Google search should provide results. I found several on a first try, but for copyright reasons I will not reproduce them here.

Last edited by Steve Nash; 02/03/21 05:14 PM.
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Steve, the locks on that Fuller are breathtaking. Thanks so much for posting the pics of it.

SRH


"With one foot in the grave ..........and one foot on the pedal, I was born a Rebel" T.P.
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Sidelock
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Hey Daryl,

I have a handful of Genez loaded cartridges with his top wads if you need a few.


Full Size



Full Size

Here is what I wrote about A. G. Genez:

The firm of A. G. Genez was a manufacturer of high quality double barrel shotguns. They also made conversions on guns from earlier types of detonation forms, such as pinfire or percussion, to newer formats, such as centerfire. They also loaded and sold shotshells for their manufactured or converted breech-loading shotguns. The company was established by August G. Genez in 1846 on Warren Street in New York City. In 1860 the company moved to 9 Chambers Street and operated there until November of 1880 when it was advertised as succeeded by Vincent Bissig.



Clock Guns, Pauly Guns, Pinfire Guns and Pinfire Cartridges
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Sidelock
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Those cartridges are a remarkable find, AaronN, and the information in the advert is intriguing.

Staying on the subject of muzzle-loaders converted to the pinfire system, here is a single-barrel game gun with a repurposed barrel.

We tend to think of single-barreled guns as being inexpensive meat guns, beginner guns, youth guns, and at the other extreme, extra-fancy trap guns. The Victorians also had a varied relationship with single-shot guns, which generally fell within one of several categories. There were the mighty punt and market guns for shooting at rafts of waterfowl; light game guns for shooters with slight frames; specialty guns for natural history collectors on their countryside walks; concealable poachers' guns; and guns re-built around a particularly treasured barrel. The cost of a single-barrel gun was not much less than for a double, so unless there was a specific request, few were made. New single-barrel guns built to order will be the subject for another day.

Before the days of choke, a barrel that shot well and true was highly prized, and muzzle-loaders were often believed to shoot better than the early breech-loaders (rightly or wrongly). It is not much of a stretch to picture someone who did not want to lose the patterning quality of their muzzle-loader, asking a gunmaker to build a new breech-loader around that barrel. Some gunmakers specialized in conversions, one of these being Thomas George Sylven of London. He had begun as a journeyman gunsmith in Scotland, making guns for established makers (he worked a short distance from John Dickson and Joseph Harkom, amongst others). He set up his own business in London in 1863, at 33 Leicester Square and 10 Panton Street, Haymarket, and later moving to 44 Bedford Street, Strand, in 1865.

Around this time he built gun number 399 for a client who wanted to re-use the barrel of a muzzle-loading gun built by Richard Seffens, a gunmaker who was in business at 5 St James, Haymarket, from 1820-1825, and at 10 Orange St, Leicester Square, between 1826-1829. Perhaps that gun had sentimental value, or was just a fine-shooting gun. In any case the client wanted to extend the life of the gun while following the latest fashion. The result is quite balanced, and other than the hexagon shaping of the barrel base and the inscribed top barrel flat, you wouldn't know it was a conversion.

The barrel is 29 13/16" in length, and the action is an unmarked Jones-type double-bite screw grip. It has a number of attractive flourishes, with a prominent percussion fence, an extended top strap, and a toed-in 'dolphin' hammer nose with a stylised cap guard. The back-action lock is signed "Thos Sylven London" within an acanthus cartouche, and the overall condition is very good, with much original colour present. The barrel still has a mirror bore, with only light pitting at the breech. The gun weighs 6 lb 1 oz.

The butt has a skeleton plate, a feature commonplace on later guns but very uncommon on a pinfire. Contrary to muzzle-loaders, pinfires did not have to be held with the butt on the ground for loading. Muzzle-loaders had iron butt plates to protect the stock during this procedure, and this characteristic feature carried over unnecessarily into most pinfire guns. Some makers started experimenting with wood butts, chequered or plain, heel-and-toe caps, skeleton plates, and horn, all of which were common from the 1870s onwards.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Steve Nash; 02/03/21 05:15 PM.
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Wonderful post ....Never thought about the rarity of single barrel fowling guns from the period. In my entire database from that period, there is one Reilly single barrel wild-fowler 11937 (circa April 1861) - I don't want to have to pull that trigger - but this 4 bore might more likely have been in the punt gun category. Have no idea what it was converted from...muzzle loader or pin-fire:

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/14918/lot/52/
A 4-BORE (4IN) SINGLE-BARRELLED HAMMER WILD-FOWLING GUN E.M. REILLY, NO. 11937
Damascus barrel engraved 'E. M. Reilly & Co. 502 New Oxford St. London Converted by J. Squires 14 New Castle St. London.'
Weight 15lb. 2oz., 14 5/8in. stock, 39½in. barrel, 4in. chamber, nitro reproof



Baluch are not Brahui, Brahui are Baluch
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Sidelock
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Here’s a couple more Genez ads too.







Clock Guns, Pauly Guns, Pinfire Guns and Pinfire Cartridges
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Steve,
Nice to see the Fuller again!
Best regards,
Roy


Roy Hebbes
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Sidelock
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In a perfect collector's world, antique guns would all be in near-pristine condition, in their original cases with labels, and with complete sets of tools and loading implements. Oh, and with the original bill of sale, and copies of the maker's order books and sales ledgers. It's nice to dream.

Interesting guns in high condition do turn up, but affording them is another matter, and cross-border trade is getting to be even more complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. For a limited-budget collector focused on a theme, a period, or a specific maker, you have to make do with what is available, and sometimes "interesting" and "condition" are at polar opposites. While it is easy to walk away from an antique gun purchase, it could well be the only one you will see in your lifetime, and putting up with blemishes might be worth it in the end. Today's offering is a case in point. "Rode hard and put away wet" doesn't begin to describe the state this gun is in. It might have been worn out before it was converted to centre-fire, and then used for decades more, repaired when necessary. Then it got neglected, and eventually stripped of useful parts and relegated to the proverbial junk pile. But to prove the point that all pinfires deserve a second look, let's have a look at this one.

This converted pinfire is from Theophilus Murcott of London. Let's stop here for a moment. That name should be recognized by any modern side-by-side fancier, as the inventor of "Murcott's Mousetrap," the first successful hammerless double gun (while remembering that Jean Samuel Pauly and François Prélat together developed in Paris around 1808 the very first hammerless double - firing a central-fire cartridge no less -- but it was a commercial flop).

Theophilus William Murcott was born in 1816 in Birmingham. He appears to have moved to London in about 1837, and managed a wholesale ironmongery (hardware) business in Oxford Street on behalf of his father. There is no record that he served any gunmaking apprenticeship, but later in London as an ironmonger he would have sold guns, wadding, and powder and shot, and probably was a keen live-pigeon shooter. Around 1851 Theophilus Murcott acted as a London agent for the Birmingham gunmakers Tipping & Lawdon, although they had their own London shop (at 26 Bartlett's Buildings, off Holborn Circus, in an area frequented by lawyers). He probably bought guns for his own shop and as part of his wholesale ironmongery business. In 1854 Murcott opened his own gun shop at 16 Essex Street, Strand, and by 1861 he had moved to live and work at 68 Haymarket, under the business name Theophilus Murcott & Co. The 1861 census records Theophilus and his wife Mary living at that address with his children Charles, Elizabeth, Mary and Theophilus, and Charles and Sarah Hanson. Theophilus Murcott, his son Theophilus, and Charles Hanson described themselves as gun makers. It was not unusual for a gunmaker and his apprentice/workman to be living under the same roof. On 15 August 1861 Theophilus Murcott senior and Charles Hanson registered patent No. 2042 for a hinged and rising/falling chamber block operated by an under-lever. In 1866 Theophilus changed the name of the business back to Theophilus Murcott. By this time he was known for his conversions of muzzle-loaders to breech-loaders, skilled work as we have seen.

On 15 April 1871 Theophilus Murcott patented the first successful hammerless gun (patent No. 1003), a under-lever cocking bar action sidelock with either a single bolt engaging with the rear lump or a Purdey double bite, which was nicknamed "Murcott's Mousetrap" by one of his competitors, a name that stuck. Theophilus advertised his gun in The Field and Field and Water magazines as "THE LAST GUN OUT- Theophilus Murcott, Gun-maker, 68 Haymarket, invites the attention of the nobility, gentry and the sporting world generally to the new GUN he has recently patented. The advantages offered by it are rapidity of action, perfect security, nonliability to accident, extreme simplicity of construction. The first is attained by the lever, which opens the barrels to receive the cartridge, also cocking the gun, the second is insured by the bolt on the top indicating whether or not the gun is ready for discharge, the third is exhibited in the entire absence of all external projections, while the fourth is shown at a glance at its mechanical principles. Its shooting powers are guaranteed to be second to none. An inspection of the gun is respectfully solicited by Theophilus Murcott, Patentee and Maker, 68 Haymarket." In 1878 the business was sold to W W Greener. Theophilus Murcott died on 19 May 1893, aged 75.

Today's gun is not one of Murcott's patent actions, and while it is lacking hammers right now (and looking decidedly naked), is not one of his hammerless designs. The cut-off centre-fire hammers the gun came with are sitting in a drawer, as I would rather focus on the gun's origins as a pinfire. It is a 12-bore double-bite screw grip rotary under-lever pinfire sporting gun made around 1870, serial number 1194. The 29 3/4" damascus barrels have London proofs, and carry indistinct barrel-maker's marks. A one-piece extractor has been added and fitted to the barrel lugs, with corresponding grooves cut into the action bar (this was no small alteration, and with the pin holes superbly filled in and disguised, the conversion was done with some skill). The barrel rib is signed "Theops Murcott 68 Haymarket London SW" within a scrolling banner, and the non-rebounding bar locks are signed "Theops Murcott," also within banners. The locks are marked "J.S." on the inside, for John Stanton. Stanton, together with Joseph Brazier and Edwin Chilton, all from Wolverhampton, were the best and most famous lock makers at the time. While difficult to see now, this gun was quality. There are two raised clips on the trigger guard bow, and the serpentine fences are well shaped -- though now drilled and tapped for centre-fire striker assemblies. It has the short top strap in keeping with its bar locks, and the starburst detailing at the breech ends where the pin holes were (now filled-in and re-engraved) is particularly attractive, as is the general pleasing quality of the engraving. The stock has a good figure, but the chequering of the stock and fore-end has long since been worn away. The bores are seriously pitted, and what is left of the gun weighs 6 lb 13 oz. It was once a beautiful and resplendent sporting gun.

A bit more information can be gleaned from the initials "T&L" on the barrel flats between the lugs. I believe these to be for Tipping & Lawden, Murcott's old employer, who may have performed the conversion. Thomas Tipping and Caleb Lawden were in business since 1837, and in 1877 the firm was sold to P Webley & Son.

Finally, the silver stock escutcheon has the initials "RBS 28th Regt". The gun was owned, and perhaps first ordered, by Captain Robert Burn Singer of the 28th (The North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot. He became an Ensign in September 1858, purchased his first commission as Lieutenant in February 1864, purchased his second commission as Captain in October 1868, in all serving 19 years in the regiment, notably in India and Gibraltar. A Murcott of London pinfire with Stanton locks would have represented a big financial investment for a Captain, so he may well have had the conversion work done to keep it in fashionable working order.

The gun may be a bit of a wreck, but in more than 25 years of searching I have never seen another Murcott pinfire, heard tell of one or seen one mentioned, or illustrated in print or on-line. I wasn't about to wait for another to come along.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Steve Nash; 02/03/21 05:18 PM.
Joined: Jul 2014
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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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Originally Posted By: Roy Hebbes
Steve,
Nice to see the Fuller again!
Best regards,
Roy

Roy, it was the most interesting 'accidental' find I've ever come across!

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Mr. Nash, I particularly enjoy the Sefrens single barrel. I appreciate how the gun might be close to looking like it did when the owner took first possession. Wood to metal fit on the top tang picture, barrel finish, and the unique [at that time] skeleton buttplate. Very fine gun.

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