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Break-Action Flintlock Long Gun with Steel Cartridge
by Henry Delaney, Circa 1720
This is a rare breech-loading flintlock with a break-action. It is a sporting gun that can fire shot or a ball. When the trigger guard is pulled back, the barrel can be tipped up, making a reloadable steel cartridge accessible. Tipping up the barrel also automatically primes the flashpan. A cylinder incorporated into the pan rotates into and out of a magazine. The magazine is preloaded with priming powder via a hinged cover located below the pan.

To fire this long gun you would half cock it, close the frizzen, release the barrel, tip it up and insert a preloaded steel cartridge, close the barrel, full cock the hammer, take aim and pull the trigger. Repeat as necessary.

The barrel has three stages, is decoratively engraved near the breach, and has a silver fore-sight. "H. DELANEY" is engraved on the lock behind the cock, along with a satyr-head, flags, a cannon, a sword, a trumpet and a ramrod. The steel side plate is also decoratively engraved and includes a satyr-head. The steel butt plate is stamped with "E6471" and has a long tang. A bow and arrow is engraved on the trigger guard. The walnut stock has relief carvings around the barrel tang, lock and side plate. The decorative silver escutcheon is blank. Two London proof marks are stamped on the bottom of the breech. A Crown over a "V" (the view mark) and a Crown over a "GP" (the gun-makers proof). A third mark is the makers mark a crowned "HD".
Type: Long Gun
Style: Break-Action Flintlock
Country: England
Overall Length: 49 1/2 inches
Barrel Length: 34 inches
Weight: 6 lb, 12.8 oz
Bore: 12, Smooth
Stock: Walnut

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Henry Delany
Henry Delany was a Huguenot immigrant to England. The Huguenots were French Protestants. They were escaping persecution after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in 1685.

Delany was admitted to the freedom of the Gunmakers Company in 1715. He worked in Long Acre, Holborn and was recorded as a "Maker of fine breech loading sporting guns and silver-mounted pistols". Delany died in 1745. (1) (2)

The book "Great British Gunmakers: 1540-1740." contains a detailed chapter on Henry Delany and many fine photographs of his weapons (1). The book also makes note of a similarity between this gun and one made by Robert Rowland. Rowland`s version appeared in the Clay P. Bedford exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early 1970s. The museum`s catalog has an excellent description of the steel cartridge and its use (3).

(1) Henry Delany, Page 405 to 410M
Great British Gunmakers: 1540-1740 by William Keith Neal & D.H.L. Back, (Oct 1984)

(2) The Huguenot Gunmakers of London by Gary Kraidman, Pages 124 and 125
Proceedings Of The Huguenot Society Of London, Vol. VI No. 4 ,December 1968

(3) Gun with Steel Cartridge, (Bedford 361)
Early firearms of Great Britain and Ireland from the collection of Clay P. Bedford, New York Graphic Society, Greenwich, Conn (1971)

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