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Captured from the Hessians at Trenton Christmas Eve 1776


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This is an English Coaching Carbine made by Richard Welford in 1760. The gun was bought during the Depression from a pre-Revolutionary War home in Burlington, New Jersey by Samuel H. Laidacker. The family stated that the gun was captured from a Hessian mercenary on Christmas Eve 1776 after Washington's successful Crossing of the Delaware during the Revolutionary War. If true, the carbine was probably stolen by a Hessian during their looting, pillaging and raping spree through New Jersey. I have known the antique dealer who bought the gun since the 1950’s and have a signed letter telling the story about the gun's capture. Samuel H. Laidacker was an antiques dealer in eastern Pennsylvania. His specialties were firearms, American historical glass and Anglo-American historical Staffordshire china. Early in his career, he also dealt in other antiques, such as furniture, prints, coins and stamps. In addition to selling antiques, he sought to educate collectors through writing, publishing, and selling books and a magazine. His father, John Gideon Laidacker, was an antiques collector and dealer, beginning his career in the 1880s. His primary collecting interest was antique firearms and according to Norm Flayderman, John Laidacker had a personal collection of over 1,000 Kentucky Rifles. Samuel Laidacker conducted his business in several ways: selling at auctions, from a shop, by mail order, and at shows. In addition to running his own business, Laidacker also did cataloging for auction houses over a number of years, particularly for Parke-Bernet in New York. The Winterthur Library in Delaware has 82 boxes of the Samuel Laidacker papers. The picture of the desk shows a small portion of the firearms in the Laidacker collection.

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That first photo makes me think that when your collection gets to the point where Revolutionary War era flintlock pistols are just randomly laying around on your furniture it's time to slow down and get a bit better organized.... we've all been there.

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The photo of the flintlock's on the desk was taken for a unpublished book on English flintlock pistols by John S. Laidacker author of Schiffer Publishing's Developmental Cartridge Handguns in .22 Calibre: As Produced in the United States and Europe from 1855-1875 and Engraved Handguns of .22 Calibre 1855-1885. Here also is a photograph of John G. Laidacker with a few of his Kentucky rifles.

 

 

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Ok, thats funny... LOL

 

That first photo makes me think that when your collection gets to the point where Revolutionary War era flintlock pistols are just randomly laying around on your furniture it's time to slow down and get a bit better organized.... we've all been there.

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It sounds crazy, but back in the day antique rifles and pistols were a lot more affordable than they are today. You'd regularly find them at gunshows in the 1970's, along with Henry repeating rifles for ridiculously low prices.

 

In an even earlier time frame I imagine large collections were attainable. I remember seeing some of the Civil War arms collections around Gettysburg in the 1960's. People did not have just one or two rifles... they had dozens!

 

Those days are long gone.

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