View Full Version : help me ID this antique side by side muzzel loader

November 29, 2004, 10:15 PM
I'd appreciate any help on ID-ing this old muzzle loading side by side percussion cap shotgun willed to me by my father. Description follows, and I'll try to attach some photos if I can figure out how:

The barrels are twisted Damascus, approximately 33" long, and the muzzles are about 11/16" diameter. The barrels are octagonal from the breech to about 1/3 the distance to the muzzle, and then become round. On the top rib between the barrels is the inscription "Damas anglais" in what I would call an Old English or Gothic script, black in color and embossed or appliqued rather than inscribed. The stock is one piece, with a German Silver (?) engraved trim where the ramrod enters the forestock, an engraved German Silver trigger guard, and a German Silver (again, that's a guess) butt plate. Behind the trigger guard is a carved Ebony (?) finger rest or grip. The butt stock has a carved Boar's head facing aft on its lower edge, blending in to a carved leaf along the cheek rest's lower back edge on the left side of the stock. The ramrod is apparently a black-stained wood with a brass tamper on one end and a small brass auger on the other.

A number of very small markings are seen on the undersurface of the barrel breechs: On each breech "cap" is a small crown symbol above the letter "T", as well as a superficially engraved "l l l V". On the left barrel (as viewed from the undersurface - really the right barrel) is the number "17.0" above a curious symbol that looks like two mirror-image "curley cues" joined at their lower edges. further toward the muzzle is what appears to be the numeral "6" above a partial capital "K" or "R".

On the opposite barrel is an oval within which sits the letter "E" above "L G", in turn sitting above a star. There is NO crown on the oval. I'm given to believe this is a Belgian mark, but don't know for sure. Near the oval is a symbol that looks like a tiny straight trumpet. Muzzle-ward from that is a tiny letter, probably "R", and further on the letters "FC" beside a symbol that looks like an old style ampersand. On the bottom rib are the numerals "14 40" (perhaps a serial number?).

If this rings a bell with anyone, I would be most grateful for information regrading who made this gun, and approximately when it was made. I hope the pictures turn out!

Thanks very much!

Jim Watson
November 29, 2004, 11:59 PM
From A History of Proof Marks, Gun Proof in Belgium, Lee Kennett, Gun Digest 1978:

Belgian for sure, the "ELG" is the giveaway, they used it for various proofs with and without crown for many years.

"Damas-anglais" is English Damascus. But surely made in Belgium to the plain English twist pattern.

"Crown-T" is an inspectors mark used 1853-1877, letters may vary.

"17.0" is the bore diameter in millimeters.

The "curleycues" MAY be the post-1852 provisonal proof mark

"R" is the rework mark, the barrel(s) failed proof and were returned to the maker for repair.

The "trumpet" MAY be the Perron mark used for breech inspection after 1853.

The article does not show any of the other marks you found. The "Crown-T" ties down the date about as close as you are likely to get.
The maker? Who knows, probably some small outfit or a guild operation with several subcontractors making shotguns for sale in the 19th century equivalent of Walmart. Don't you think a major maker would have put his name on it?

4V50 Gary
November 30, 2004, 11:21 AM
Remove the barrels to see if there are any other marks on the barrels or the rib.

November 30, 2004, 09:56 PM
Mr. Watson,

Thanks for the information you provided regarding this old shotgun. I really appreciate it. Not sure about the English Damascus-it doesn't look very plain to me. I'll attach a photo of it.

So, not surprised it is just a nineteenth century Walmart gun, but it's a heck of lot prettier than 90% of the guns put out by the major manufacturers of today, and it meant alot to my dad so that pleases me. And, I won't have to worry about insuring it! :)

4V50 Gary,

The original posting states that all the markings reported are on the undersurface of the barrels, breech end. Only way to see 'em is to remove the barrels ;). (Check out the attached photo of the underside of the barrels.) But, thanks for your interest!

November 30, 2004, 10:02 PM

Jim Watson
November 30, 2004, 11:01 PM
Actually, that is a fairly plain pattern as damascus barrels go. Some of the fancy shops could spell your name in the pattern.
The rib being damascus is a nice plus.
True, it is a lot nicer looking gun than you see in the minor makes these days.

September 25, 2008, 02:47 AM
Hi to everyone!
I've got a shotgun like this, but there's no significant marks..the only things i can read are two little phrase: "a st. Etienne" and on the other side "AT BY" (or AI BY)..
can you give me some info, or this is similar to the pbaron's shotgun?

Hawg Haggen
September 25, 2008, 04:09 AM
If the top of the rib has scroll work on it the makers name may be hidden in it. That's the way my Ancion is. It's kind of faint and hard to spot. Those old Belgian doubles are fine guns and the barrels are brazed to the rib, not soldered like English guns. You don't have to worry about them separating.

Jim Watson
September 25, 2008, 07:36 AM
St Etienne was the big French gunmaking city.

I don't know about AT BY without digging out French proofmarks, but any or all of those cryptic marks on an European gun can signify stuff.