Tapering round 7 7/8″ brass barrel of approx. .58 caliber with top flat at breech, marked
“LONDON” and stamped with Birmingham private view and proof marks (which resemble
the true London proof house marks). Steel barrel tang with feather mark often associated
with pieces intended for trade with the Native American tribes. Flat lockplate with line
border marked “KETLAND/&Co”; converted from flintlock. Walnut stock with decorative
brass mounts including trigger guard, butt cap, vacant oval escutcheon, and openwork side
plate. Shows age and use with pleasing patina to wood and brass. Overall length 13 3/8″.
While based in Birmingham England, Ketland maintained offices in London and
Philadelphia, though never manufactured guns in either location. So far as is known, all
their guns were manufactured in Birmingham and the vast majority were made for export,
primarily to the United States. Thomas Ketland Jr. is believed to have been the one who
set up the Philadelphia office around 1790. Interestingly, he married Elizabeth Meade of
Philadelphia in 1790 and later became the uncle of US General George Gordon Meade, the
victor of the Battle of Gettysburg. Remaining in Philadelphia throughout the War of 1812,
he returned to England after the war and apparently took up the management of the
Birmingham operations. The business was officially declared bankrupt in 1821.