Chesapeake Market Hunter
Would anyone happen to know what the, I assume Proof, mark relates to?
This mark is near the breech of the left barrel, a double 8 gauge percussion shotgun. No other visible markings. This gun was given me by my Delmar High School science teacher, Joseph Glackin, who said it had been used for market hunting. As we lived on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake bay this seemed reasonable to me. I have no recollection over the last half-century of having looked under the barrels, so I can't comment on any other markings.
Recently I decided to give it to a class mate who lives in Salisbury Maryland, and who understands hunting. I'm getting just a tad elderly, and no one here in Michigan would have a clue about Chesapeake Bay matters.
This would appear to be Liege 1852/3.
Mr Kelly thank you for posting this !! and Norman, great catch on Liege!
As I am not a 'shooter' nor hunter, I was curious about what a Chesapeake hunter was, so thought I would share what I found for other readers.
Apparently a 'market hunter' is a commercial hunter, professional and regions in Chesapeake Bay were ideal for hunting Canadian geese and canvasback ducks. The Susquehanna Flats were a well frequented area and such hunting was active here well into 20th c. though there were legal actions such as the Lacy Act of 1900 and much was regulated legally by 1920s.
There were huge guns known as 'punt' guns used in this kind of hunting, often mounted as the gauge and recoil was considerable. I thought this 8 gauge was more like a cannon!!! but apparently it was a 'smaller' version of the PUNT guns.
Shotguns were profoundly produced in the 1800s for American use by makers in Liege, and it seems I often heard remarks in accounts of events in those times referring to a shotgun as 'Belgian', this would explain why.
Perhaps the 1978 book "Chesapeake' by James Michener would be a key accompaniment to this beautiful gun!! It is of course about the market hunters.
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