Wanting to put together a blunderbuss - It appears that they were kept rather plain back in the day..?

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I don't necessarily have to or even want to stay totally period but I also don't want to fit a Pachymar recoil pad either !

I am very new to black powder firearms (with the exception of a C&B revolver I bought and sold decades ago. And the two C&B replica revolvers I recently bought...a couple of months ago).

I am learning a lot reading posts on the forum and looking at some nice to absolutely wonderful examples of building both new and old.

I do tend to jump into things that interest me with both feet...thus the desire to do the blunderbuss. I do not hunt but shoot and collect, thus practicality means little to me, I just like the look of a blunderbuss and...oh well.

Anyway am I correct that they seldom had any carvings and or fancy metalwork. I have read the term "gingerbread" does that apply to wood and metalwork?

I have worked and taught jewelry making, silversmithing and pewtering for many years. Should I decide to build a blunderbuss I would like to incorporate some of those skills in the build. But I don't know that I care to go too overboard. One tecnique that I would like to incorporate in the build (should I actually go forward with the project) is a low relief chased sterling silver inlay. I would like to do a chased piece that has some historical significance (or is at least period appropriate) and not just something "pretty". Any thoughts/suggestions/education would be welcome. I have seen some fantastic engravings on some photos posted here but unfortunately I do not possess that skill, chasing and repousse are the closest I come.
 

billraby

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There were plenty of highly decorated blunderbuss made. If you keep it appropriate for the period it will look just fine. No reason not to go nuts with it if that is what you want to do. And you will never have engraving skill if you don't give it a try.
 
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Just ordered the following book…of course I learned of the book from searching on the forum.

THE BLUNDERBUSS 1500-1900, HISTORICAL ARMS SERIES NO. 32.

I’m hoping that it will give me some insight and education. For the chased inlay I’m kicking around the idea of a tall ship as that should go with their history.
 
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I don't necessarily have to or even want to stay totally period but I also don't want to fit a Pachymar recoil pad either !

I am very new to black powder firearms (with the exception of a C&B revolver I bought and sold decades ago. And the two C&B replica revolvers I recently bought...a couple of months ago).

I am learning a lot reading posts on the forum and looking at some nice to absolutely wonderful examples of building both new and old.

I do tend to jump into things that interest me with both feet...thus the desire to do the blunderbuss. I do not hunt but shoot and collect, thus practicality means little to me, I just like the look of a blunderbuss and...oh well.

Anyway am I correct that they seldom had any carvings and or fancy metalwork. I have read the term "gingerbread" does that apply to wood and metalwork?

I have worked and taught jewelry making, silversmithing and pewtering for many years. Should I decide to build a blunderbuss I would like to incorporate some of those skills in the build. But I don't know that I care to go too overboard. One tecnique that I would like to incorporate in the build (should I actually go forward with the project) is a low relief chased sterling silver inlay. I would like to do a chased piece that has some historical significance (or is at least period appropriate) and not just something "pretty". Any thoughts/suggestions/education would be welcome. I have seen some fantastic engravings on some photos posted here but unfortunately I do not possess that skill, chasing and repousse are the closest I come.
I think Gingerbread refers to over decorated items like Gilded Gingerbread showy not functional But it's your gun do as you please of course so long as its new stuff not original pieces .Have at it Regards Rudyard
 
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Rock Island Auction has a few blunderbusses for sale right now. Their website has pretty good descriptions and give current price estimates. The auction starts in a couple of days.
 
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Most were ‘working guns’, used to guard coaches or in military operations such as defending a ship.
They were self defense or home defense guns.
This was a time when some sort of decretive woodwork was seen on even plain items, so molding details was not uncommon. And rich did get them with chiseled and engraved metal work. In general these should be treated similar to military muskets
 
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As tenngun points out most were working guns and would not have been fancy, no more so than a military musket of the times. There were decorated blunderbusses even to the point of being elaborate but they belonged to much better off folks and they probably regarded them more as toys rather than something practical. Middle Eastern blunderbusses, breast pistols, etc. are quite a different subject but I believe they are an aside from this discussion.
 

Auldjin

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This is an English example by Grice. I think it has just enough decoration to lift it from being plain.
 

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