What is this? Unusual cartouche

OldSarge79

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Location
Pisgah Forest, North Carolina
A young man walked into the Asheville gun show yesterday with, what I believe at least started out as a Model 1808 Contract musket. It was passed down to him by his grandfather, with no idea who in the family originally had it. He just wanted to know what he had, with a thought of possibly selling it at some point.

It's a percussion conversion, rather crudely done, with a civilian-size nipple in a barrel-shaped bolster. Definitely not an arsenal job .
The cut for the barrel tang is longer than the tang. And what kind of wood is this? I would suspect it's a re-stock, but it has a cartouche on the flat, albeit a very odd one.

Has anyone seen a cartouche like this?

Other thoughts on this piece?

cartouche.jpg


cartouche3.jpeg


cartouche1.jpeg


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cartouche6.jpeg
 

OldSarge79

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Location
Pisgah Forest, North Carolina
Your cartouche is a clover shape with V in the top loop and CW in the lower two loops. Charles Williams. It was on Ethan Stillman M1808 contract muskets. He was one of the first inspectors of contract muskets. He inspected approx. 18 various manufactures.
Thanks for the information. Sounds like, with the exception of the percussion conversion and the ramrod, everything is original. I'll make sure the current owner knows. And I've learned something as well.
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Your cartouche is a clover shape with V in the top loop and CW in the lower two loops. Charles Williams. It was on Ethan Stillman M1808 contract muskets. He was one of the first inspectors of contract muskets. He inspected approx. 18 various manufactures.
Now I know your not just another pretty face yankee. :D
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
You mentioned the cut for the barrel tang is longer than the tang, but did not post photos of that.
Improperly removing a barrel from a stock often causes the loss of a chip of wood at just that place.
The wood looks original and correct in the rest of your photos.
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
So what's the collective thoughts on this particular drum conversion?

Confederate?
 
Last edited:

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
@OldSarge79

Reference "A young man walked into the Asheville gun show yesterday with, what I believe at least started out as a Model 1808 Contract musket. It was passed down to him by his grandfather, with no idea who in the family originally had it.", note the 'EWR'.

It'd be interesting to know what men were in his family tree, going back to our era of interest. There's a 'Hail Mary' chance the EWR might match the initials of one of his ancestors, with a slimmer chance that said ancestor served.

If that does turn out to be the case, he might not want to sell it.
 

OldSarge79

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Location
Pisgah Forest, North Carolina
@OldSarge79

Reference "A young man walked into the Asheville gun show yesterday with, what I believe at least started out as a Model 1808 Contract musket. It was passed down to him by his grandfather, with no idea who in the family originally had it.", note the 'EWR'.

It'd be interesting to know what men were in his family tree, going back to our era of interest. There's a 'Hail Mary' chance the EWR might match the initials of one of his ancestors, with a slimmer chance that said ancestor served.

If that does turn out to be the case, he might not want to sell it.
We're looking into that. This is what he sent me yesterday:
"I can not think of anyone in the family with the last initial of “R”. I can ask my mom to see if she can think of anybody."
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Location
NJ
@OldSarge79

Reference "A young man walked into the Asheville gun show yesterday with, what I believe at least started out as a Model 1808 Contract musket. It was passed down to him by his grandfather, with no idea who in the family originally had it.", note the 'EWR'.

It'd be interesting to know what men were in his family tree, going back to our era of interest. There's a 'Hail Mary' chance the EWR might match the initials of one of his ancestors, with a slimmer chance that said ancestor served.

If that does turn out to be the case, he might not want to sell it.
All good points but you would be surprised how many family members are willing to part with an item that once belonged to a relative. Many a time when I was in the retail firearms business I would try to talk young guys and gals into keeping their Grandfathers old M1911, captured Luger or Arisaka.
Most times they really just didn’t care and wanted to sell or trade for something more modern. It was sad to think they wanted to part with these reminders of a loved one.
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
All good points but you would be surprised how many family members are willing to part with an item that once belonged to a relative.
Not surprised in the least. I've 'rescued' (from a descendent) a Sharps Carbine that - verbally/can't *prove* - I can trace back to Co I 15th PA Cav.

One of the problems with the internet is that tone is difficult if not impossible to 'hear' in messages.
In this case, I did not make mine clear - it was a glimmer of hope against the inevitable.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
All good points but you would be surprised how many family members are willing to part with an item that once belonged to a relative. Many a time when I was in the retail firearms business I would try to talk young guys and gals into keeping their Grandfathers old M1911, captured Luger or Arisaka.
Most times they really just didn’t care and wanted to sell or trade for something more modern. It was sad to think they wanted to part with these reminders of a loved one.

I've often thought that it would be safer to remember Grandfather by keeping something other than his gold watch and his gun, both of which are stolen in the first ninety seconds after a thief breaks into a house. Grandfather's carved cane - I still have it. Grandfather's gold watch - went out the door of my father's house in the 1980s.
 
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