A Rare 18-Bore Breech-Loading Flintlock Park Rifle By Robert Rowland, London, Circa 1720 with swamped sighted rifled barrel cut with sixteen shallow grooves and formed in three stages divided by raised mouldings, the breech section signed 'R. Rowland - London' and engraved at the rear with a transverse band of acanthus foliage in front of a baluster ramp slotted for sighting, engraved shaped tang, signed border engraved rounded lock with bridle to the pan, moulded figured full stock carved in relief with shell motifs at the barrel tang and in front of the lock and side-plate, border engraved iron trigger-guard unscrewing to allow loading from beneath and fitted with threaded iron breech plug border engraved brass butt-plate, scroll side-plate and vacant escutcheon, the first with long stepped tang (heel damaged), the second engraved with foliage involving a grotesque profile head, brass trigger-plate, three baluster brass ramrod-pipes, and brass-capped ramrod, the underside of the butt fitted with a spring-loaded iron arm housed in an iron trap, serrated on its inner surface and serving to hook on to the branches of trees when climbing and waiting for deer (stock chipped around the lock and with minor bruises, iron parts with some wear and scattered surface pitting), London proof marks and barrelsmith's mark of Robert Rowland 91.8 cm. barrel Footnotes Exhibited: The Craft Of The Gunmaker 1640-1870 (cat. no. 78, illustrated) Robert Rowland (d. 1721) is first recorded in 1704 and obtained his freedom of the London Gunmakers' Company by redemption in April 1715. He probably set up in business on his own account in 1717. Rowland specialised in breech-loading firearms, and is best known today for the group of shoulder arms he produced for John Tournay, which bear Tournay's name and address, an identification very seldom found on any firearms. The group includes a breech-loading sporting rifle of 1719, now in the Royal Collection at Windsor (inv. no. L247), and a breech-loading sporting gun of 1718, formerly the property of the British Rail Pension Fund and exhibited in the Royal Armouries between 1978 and 1996 The iron arm on the underside of the butt is also found on park rifles by Benjamin Griffin.