A Fine Volunteer Baker Flintlock Rifle by I. Gill. 46” overall, 30” 16 bore 7 groove twist barrel stamped with Tower Private and Ordnance proofs at breech and blade fore sight, block for bayonet on the underside of muzzle, leaf rear sights, one fixed and two hinged, the hinged leaves with V's to top and sighting holes at a lower level, flat bevelled lock border line engraved, with stepped tail signed 'I. GILL' and Crown G.R. cypher, semi waterproof pan, roller to frizzen, a ring neck cock, detented action. Regulation brass mounted, figured, full walnut stock without slit for ramrod, with raised cheek rest, small brass patch box lid, the wrist escutcheon engraved 'T. W. W. IIII', sling swivels and iron ramrod.
This is a superior example with a fine stock, barrel rebrowned. Bore good with seven grooves making one turn in 30”. (standard Baker is 1/4 turn in 30”.). Made to be used with a socket bayonet.
Provenance: This rifle was produced for a volunteer rifle company by John Gill of Birmingham who took over the family business from his father Thomas Gill in mid-1801. A quantity of these Baker rifles were sold at Sotheby's many years back and spread over a number of sales. There were two different grades, the superior grade such as this example had fast twist rifling, detented actions and superior sights. The standard grade had normal Baker rifling, standard sight and actions, all were marked "T. W. W" and a number. Apparently a quantity had been brought into Sotheby's by a couple who had bought a large country house and found a rack of these rifles in one of the outhouses.