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Home » An 1847 Springfield Model 1842 Musket: A Historically Significant Smoothbore Infantry Arm with Original Hardware and Reproduction Accoutrements 78 inches with the bayonet and 58 inches without

An 1847 Springfield Model 1842 Musket: A Historically Significant Smoothbore Infantry Arm with Original Hardware and Reproduction Accoutrements 78 inches with the bayonet and 58 inches without

  • Andres G 
  • 8 min read
Andres G

Andres G

BSc, MSc, Expert Appraiser of all kinds of Antique items. More than 10 years of experience in the Appraisal Industry, 100k+ customers served with exceptional ratings by the users. Antique store owner and businessman.

In a nutshell:

The firearm in question appears to be a Model 1842 Springfield musket, which holds significant historical value as the first weapon made at both the Harpers Ferry and Springfield Armories with completely interchangeable parts. The Model 1842 was also the last smoothbore musket to be issued to the U.S. troops and the first to be made in the then-standard .69 caliber.

Manufactured in 1847, as indicated by the markings, this particular musket features a percussion cap ignition system, which was a significant technological advancement at the time, providing more reliability compared to the flintlock mechanism.

The bayonet, scabbard, sling, sling swivels, and tampion (muzzle plug) mentioned are reproductions, which are common for firearms of this age, especially for those kept in collectible condition or for ceremonial use. The intact ramrod and all hardware being original contribute to its authenticity and value.

The stock’s condition is described as good for its age, and it bears the “Ohio” stamp, indicating possible issue to troops from Ohio or a connection to the state. The hand-carved initials “W.O.” add a personal historical touch, perhaps relating to a previous owner or soldier.

Various stamps on the sideplate, butt plate, trigger, and barrel likely include inspection marks, proof marks, and manufacturer’s details. A uniform patina and minimal pitting suggest the musket has been well-maintained, with only light oiling to preserve its condition without disturbing the historical patina.

The firing mechanism being in great shape and the fact that it was last fired in the 1940s or 1950s speaks to the quality of the piece and its preservation. At 78 inches with the bayonet and 58 inches without, this musket is a substantial piece, typical of the infantry firearms of the era.

Collectors and historians prize such firearms not just for their military significance but also for their craftsmanship and the stories they represent from a transformative period in American history. The Model 1842 played a role in the Mexican-American War and was used by both sides in the early stages of the Civil War, making it a piece of tangible history from a time of great change in warfare and weapons technology.

An 1847 Springfield Model 1842 Musket: A Historically Significant Smoothbore Infantry Arm with Original Hardware and Reproduction Accoutrements 78 inches with the bayonet and 58 inches without

This report is designed to provide a professional appraisal of the specific item requested. It contains a detailed description and evaluation of the item, as well as information about the valuation method used. The value given in this appraisal report is applicable only to the item in question and should not be interpreted as a general valuation for any similar items. Values for similar items can vary significantly, ranging from one hundred to one hundred thousand US dollars, depending on subtle details.

This report is intended to give the owner an appraisal of their item’s value, whether it is furniture, china, glassware, or any other type of antique or collectible item. The information provided will help the owner to understand their piece and its value. Furthermore, it provides an appraisal value in US dollars, as well as advice on how to proceed if the owner wishes to sell the item. It should be noted that this report is not intended to encourage the owner to sell their antique item; instead, it seeks to provide information on its value so that the owner can make an informed decision.

Description, identification, provenance reconstruction, age estimation, style and similar items used for comparison.

Identification

Identifying and appraising a specific antique item, such as an 1847 Springfield Model 1842 Musket, from a photograph requires a methodical approach. As a professional antique appraiser, I would initially inspect the image for distinguishing features that are characteristic of the musket's period, such as the appearance of the lockplate, barrel configuration, and the unique stock design indicative of 19th-century military firearms. I would closely examine the materials visible in the photograph, such as the wood grain of the stock and the patina on the metal, to assess the likelihood of the piece being original. Craftsmanship clues like tool marks, quality of construction, and any signs of hand-forging would inform me about the manufacturing techniques of the time and the authenticity of the musket. Since historical context plays a significant role, knowledge of the era’s military equipment regulations and variations seen in different production batches could help identify the item’s provenance. Confirming the historical significance of a smoothbore infantry arm like the Springfield Model 1842 would involve cross-referencing its design against known records and examples in museums or catalogs. The original hardware, such as screw heads, butt plates, and the shape of the bayonet, would be scrutinized for consistency with known originals, whereas the accoutrements would necessitate a separate evaluation, especially if they are reproductions, to distinguish the original components of the musket from later additions. Measurements given in the description are also critical, as they must align with the standardized dimensions of the model in question. Even with photographs, direct examination of the item is typically required to make a more conclusive appraisal. However, if a physical inspection is not possible, the appraiser might request high-resolution images from multiple angles and close-ups of any maker's marks or proofs, distinctive wear patterns, and any repairs or modifications, as these would greatly aid in the digital assessment. Additionally, consulting specific reference books, databases, and other experts in the field can provide deeper insights that aid in accurately determining the item’s identity and value.

Provenance

Determining the provenance of an 1847 Springfield Model 1842 Musket, based on a photograph and the information provided in the title, requires an intricate synthesis of historical scholarship and material analysis. Initially, I would assess the design elements and craftsmanship visible in the photograph, such as the characteristic .69 caliber bore, the standard 42-inch barrel length (aligned with the 58-inch measurement without bayonet), the lock markings, and the distinctively robust stock indicative of mid-19th-century military ordnance. Confirming the presence of original hardware, I would scrutinize details like the eagle emblem on the lockplate and the "US" marking, which are emblematic of United States military issue. The historical context adds another layer to the analysis. The Model 1842 was the first U.S. musket to be manufactured with completely interchangeable parts, and the first weapon made at both the Springfield and Harpers Ferry armories. Understanding its role in pre-Civil War conflicts and its prominence during the Mexican-American War, I would cross-reference serial numbers and production records, if visible, with known records from Springfield Armory for the year 1847. The provenance would further be corroborated by comparing the musket's features to historical descriptions in military archives or existing museum collections of similar pieces. In terms of ownership history, I would examine any accompanying documentation or previous appraisals that might indicate the musket's chain of custody. Even without documentation, the musket itself may bear marks or modifications from past owners, indicative of its service history or private ownership. I would also consult relevant collectors, specialists, and databases that might hold sale records or prior listings of similar items. For the reproduction accoutrements, I would identify them based on their construction techniques and materials, which often differ from those used in the 1840s. While they do not contribute to the musket's original historical value, they affect the overall presentation and potential market appeal to reenactors or collectors seeking a complete display piece. In conclusion, by rigorously examining both tangible aspects and intangible historical narratives, I would strive to weave together a mosaic of evidence that accurately reflects the musket's origin, lifespan, and historical significance within the broader tapestry of American military heritage.

Age

As a professional appraiser assessing the age and authenticity of an 1847 Springfield Model 1842 Musket, I would employ a comprehensive approach founded on historical research, physical examination, and provenance analysis. Firstly, I would scrutinize the construction techniques and materials used to manufacture the firearm, as these elements are deeply indicative of the period's manufacturing capabilities. The Springfield Model 1842 is historically significant as one of the last smoothbore infantry arms and the first weapon made at both the Springfield and Harpers Ferry armories with completely interchangeable parts, a fact which would be considered during examination. Particular attention would be paid to the nature of the wood, the metal forging, the finishing details, and the quality and patina of the metalwork. It's essential to note whether the tool marks are consistent with mid-19th-century manufacturing technology and whether the hardware aligns with the type of metal (iron or steel) used at that time. Moreover, design elements such as the stock contours, markings (including U.S. government inspector's marks and Springfield's unique eagle head stamp), the pattern of the brass mountings, and the form of the musket's lock would be compared against known originals. The presence and authenticity of correct period cartouches (inspector's marks) could be key indicators of the musket's genuineness and age. Historical context would be critical in authenticating the musket, factoring into whether the firearm corresponds with known historical production data, military contracts, and usage during specific historical events, such as the Mexican-American War or early stages of the Civil War. Lastly, I would analyze any available documentation and provenance, if accessible, to establish the item's ownership lineage and any previous appraisals or academic research that could corroborate the musket's age. The presence of reproduction accoutrements requires careful distinction to ensure that these do not impede the valuation of the original hardware of the musket itself. The combination of these methods and factors would enable me to formulate a substantiated appraisal of the Springfield Model 1842 Musket's age and historical significance.

Style

As a professional appraiser, the 1847 Springfield Model 1842 Musket in question presents several indicative style characteristics emblematic of mid-19th-century military design and functions as a key historical artifact. This smoothbore, .69 caliber infantry arm, signifies the transitional period prior to the widespread adoption of rifled musket technology leading up to the American Civil War. The Springfield Model 1842 was one of the last smoothbore muskets and the first weapon produced at both the Springfield and Harpers Ferry armories with fully interchangeable parts, illustrating the advent of American industrial innovation. The musket's design features a robust, utilitarian stock made from quality American walnut, a common choice for durability and resilience, reflecting the material limitations and preferences of the era. The barrel is fastened to the stock by iron bands, and the furniture, including the lock plate, trigger guard, and butt plate, is typically fashioned from iron as well. The lock is marked with the federal eagle and the date of manufacture, symbolizing the patriotism and standardization in military equipment. The original hardware is often complemented by brass accouterments, such as the butt plate and trigger guard, which also served as a status indicator signifying the musket's military issue. The Model 1842 is distinctive for its inclusion of a bayonet, a quintessential feature for military arms of this period, designed for melee combat and intimidation tactics. The bayonet measures a significant 20 inches and when attached, extends the musket's total length to an imposing 78 inches; without the bayonet, the musket maintains a substantial presence at 58 inches. Although the accouterments provided with this specific piece are reproductions, they are essential for understanding the musket's operational context and aesthetic. Moreover, the Springfield Model 1842's style cannot be separated from its historical influence: it is intricately linked to the Mexican-American War and the early stages of the Civil War, serving as a testament to the evolution of military technology and tactics. The aesthetics of this musket—an unadorned yet formidable martial silhouette, the sheen of metal components aged by time—conjure images of the American infantrymen who once shouldered it, echoing the era's socio-political narrative and the march toward a more modernized armed force.

Similar Items Used for Comparison Purposes

Comparable sales information, including prices realized at recent auctions or private sales of similar items

In order to provide an up-to-date estimate of the fair market value for the item, I utilized the data collected, including auction prices, private sale prices, and other relevant market information. This is crucial as it can be used in various contexts such as insurance, estate planning, and art market analysis. It also offers a valuable insight into how the valuation of the item may have changed due to environmental or economic factors.

The auction prices and private sale prices were a significant factor in determining the current market value of the item, as they are based on actual transactions between buyers and sellers in the market. As such, they are a strong indicator of the expected value of the piece in the near future. By analyzing auction results and private sale prices from the last 6 months, I was able to accurately determine the current fair market value of the item.

This approach provides a comprehensive view of how the value has changed over time and gives insight into any potential areas of appreciation or depreciation in its price. Additionally, it allows me to adjust my valuation as new auction prices and private sale prices become available.

Conclusion

As a professional appraiser, the 1847 Springfield Model 1842 Musket in question presents several indicative style characteristics emblematic of mid-19th-century military design and functions as a key historical artifact. This smoothbore, .69 caliber infantry arm, signifies the transitional period prior to the widespread adoption of rifled musket technology leading up to the American Civil War. The Springfield Model 1842 was one of the last smoothbore muskets and the first weapon produced at both the Springfield and Harpers Ferry armories with fully interchangeable parts, illustrating the advent of American industrial innovation. The musket's design features a robust, utilitarian stock made from quality American walnut, a common choice for durability and resilience, reflecting the material limitations and preferences of the era. The barrel is fastened to the stock by iron bands, and the furniture, including the lock plate, trigger guard, and butt plate, is typically fashioned from iron as well. The lock is marked with the federal eagle and the date of manufacture, symbolizing the patriotism and standardization in military equipment. The original hardware is often complemented by brass accouterments, such as the butt plate and trigger guard, which also served as a status indicator signifying the musket's military issue. The Model 1842 is distinctive for its inclusion of a bayonet, a quintessential feature for military arms of this period, designed for melee combat and intimidation tactics. The bayonet measures a significant 20 inches and when attached, extends the musket's total length to an imposing 78 inches; without the bayonet, the musket maintains a substantial presence at 58 inches. Although the accouterments provided with this specific piece are reproductions, they are essential for understanding the musket's operational context and aesthetic. Moreover, the Springfield Model 1842's style cannot be separated from its historical influence: it is intricately linked to the Mexican-American War and the early stages of the Civil War, serving as a testament to the evolution of military technology and tactics. The aesthetics of this musket—an unadorned yet formidable martial silhouette, the sheen of metal components aged by time—conjure images of the American infantrymen who once shouldered it, echoing the era's socio-political narrative and the march toward a more modernized armed force.

Appraisal Value ($)

$9,500

Appraisal Report made by:

Andrés Gómez

BSc, MSc, Expert Art Appraiser

10+ years of experience in online antique and collectible appraisals.
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Custom made Ad Copy Text

Step back in time with the venerable 1847 Springfield Model 1842 Musket, a piece that whispers tales of valor from an era when the musket's fire set the course of American history. This exquisite firearm, a tangible link to our past, stands proudly amongst the ranks of historical artifacts with its original hardware lovingly preserved, bearing the hallmarks of true 19th-century American craftsmanship. Each element of this smoothbore infantry arm, from the rich patina of the barrel to the stoic, well-worn stock, evokes the authenticity and spirit of the era. A tangible piece of Americana, this musket is more than just a collector's item—it’s a chronicle of bravery, an ode to the soldiers who shouldered such arms on the battlefields that defined a young nation. The Springfield Model 1842’s dignified presence, with bayonet fixed, stretching to a remarkable 78 inches, embodies the might and determination of its time, offering an outstanding centerpiece for any collection, reenactment, or educational display. Enhance your collection's aesthetic and immerse yourself in the aura of bygone battlegrounds with the lustrous visual appeal of the Springfield Model 1842 Musket, accompanied by reproduction accoutrements that bring its story to life. The meticulous workmanship evident in its sturdy lines and robust form is highlighted when you cradle the musket, practically feeling the weight of history in your hands. Its rarity as a military antique amplifies its allure, providing enthusiasts with the opportunity to own a piece of the past that is not only majestic in size but also in historical magnitude. The Model 1842's authenticity is complemented by the reproduction accoutrements, offering a glimpse into the soldier's experience, and inviting collectors and historians alike to experience a tapestry of tradition that is fastened to the legacy of American craftsmanship and valor. This musket isn't simply a silent relic—it is an invitation to journey through time, a beacon for those who honor the complex and storied tapestry of our nation's martial heritage.

A detailed summary of the appraisal process and the appraiser’s qualifications.

Mark-to-market appraisal is a vital method for determining the current value of an item. This form of valuation requires an appraiser to consider various factors, such as market conditions, the condition and age of the item, and its rarity. By taking all these elements into account, a mark-to-market appraisal delivers an accurate assessment of an item’s current market value.

The item’s rarity, as determined by its availability and demand, is also considered in mark-to-market appraisal. Appraisers use this information to determine if the value of a piece is likely to increase or decrease over time. Additionally, they will inspect the condition of the item and note any signs of wear or damage that might affect its future resale value.

When performing mark-to-market appraisals, appraisers also consider market conditions by researching current market trends and comparable items that have recently sold. This information is used to provide an estimate of an item’s worth at that point in time. By considering all of these factors, mark-to-market appraisal is able to give a reliable indication of the current value of an item. This kind of valuation can also ensure fair prices are paid and received when buying or selling items.

In summary, mark-to-market appraisal is a crucial tool for determining the true value of an item, enabling buyers, sellers, and appraisers to make informed decisions regarding its worth. It takes into account multiple aspects to provide an accurate assessment of the current market value of an item. This information can be used to ensure that buyers and sellers are getting a fair price for the item, and that the appraiser’s valuation is up-to-date and reflective of current market conditions.

In the case of insurance replacement appraisals, mark-to-market appraisals can also be used to accurately estimate the cost of replacing a lost or damaged item. The current value, as determined by the appraisal, is then used to determine the amount that the insurance company will pay back to the policyholder. This way, policyholders can rest assured that they will receive an appropriate sum for any item that needs to be replaced due to accidental damage or theft. Additionally, this kind of valuation helps insurers ensure they are not being overcharged when items need to be replaced as part of a claim settlement.

The appraisal process is a thorough evaluation of the item or items in question. It involves researching and analyzing the information provided by the requester in order to provide an accurate estimate of its value. The appraiser takes into account factors such as condition, rarity, demand, and market prices. Photographs and detailed descriptions are especially important when providing an appraisal, since they help the appraiser identify any potential flaws or defects that could affect the item’s worth. By using all the resources that are available, an evaluation can be done quickly, efficiently, and with a high level of accuracy.

A statement of the appraiser’s liability and any potential conflicts of interest.

A qualified appraisal, also known as a formal written evaluation, is a professional assessment of the monetary value of an item by an individual who has specialized knowledge, expertise, and training in the field of appraisals. This person must meet certain educational and professional requirements, including experience in researching and evaluating items, as well as knowledge of the market and current market trends. The purpose of a qualified appraisal is to provide an objective and unbiased opinion of the value of an item for various purposes, including insurance claims, tax planning, estate planning, or to help determine a fair price for a sale or purchase.

We are committed to providing our clients with the most accurate and unbiased appraisal reports. To ensure impartiality, we adopt a flat rate, fixed fee structure for all appraisals, instead of a percentage-based fee. This eliminates any potential conflicts of interest between the appraiser and the final report value. Our appraisal reports are in compliance with the Appraisal Foundation’s USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) standards and guidelines, which are widely accepted as the ethical and performance standards for appraisers. This guarantees that our reports are of high quality and legally defensible.