A Rare English Bullet Crossbow by William Barker of Wigan, No. 380, circa 1765.
With slender steel bow, built-in gaffle with foliate decoration and retained by a catch at the rear. Back-sight floral engraved with makers signature BARKER over WIGAN, button trigger on top of action, sprung fore-sight, flat-sided walnut gun-stock with iron mounts and iron reinforcement (original), serial numbered butt plate. Bow 25.75" Overall length 29", Stock with minor bruises. Some pitting to iron parts.
William Barker was a gunsmith and clockmaker of great reputation. His clocks are represented in most major British museums. He is noted for his bullet crossbows with the late W Keith Neal collection containing similar examples.
Barker, W. [1770-1780]
General gunsmith at Wigan, Lancashire.
A. Merwyn Carey (1954) English, Irish and Scottish Firearms Makers, Acro Publishing Company, New York.