This gun is notable for its great length (77 inches overall) and for several stylistic features that make it attributable to New York. It is distinguished further by its historical association with John Dean (1755–1816), a sergeant in the Continental Army during the American Revolution who participated in the capture of the British spy Major André. Although made for hunting, this gun may have been carried by Dean during the Revolution. Like many American firearms of the Colonial era, it is fitted with an imported barrel and lock. The lock comes from a French infantry musket, model 1728, and bears the marking of the royal arms factory at Saint-Étienne. The gun has been handed down through the Dean family; a member of the family, Dr. Bashford Dean (1867–1928), became the first curator of the Metropolitan Museum's Department of Arms and Armor in 1912.
Marking: Marked on the lockplate: SE beneath a crown (Manufacture Royale de Saint-Etienne) and CARRIER F (Carrier Freres, entrepreneurs at Saint-Etienne, ca. 1749–54). Inside the lock mechanism intact, the lockplate is stamped C.V.
Ex coll.: John Dean and thereafter by descent
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions 1991–2002," September 4, 2002–January 18, 2004, no. 30.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., Donald J. La Rocca, and Morihiro Ogawa. Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions, 1991–2002. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002. pp. 34–35, no. 30, fig. 13, ill.