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More than 20,000 of these weapons were produced in a number of variations. The first issue was supplied with a 2ft (60cm) long sword bayonet weighing 2lb.

Scarce survivor

This proved too cumbersome for a gun intended for accurate shooting at long ranges. As a result, a light socket bayonet was adopted, but the cost of altering existing rifles proved too high and only 2000 are thought to have been converted, this example being one of them.

Estimated at £5000-6000, it was stamped on the barrel-tang with an Ordnance mark, a border-engraved lock stamped with a crown over GR and Tower across the tail, and the butt plate was incised PR 30. It sold for £5700.

Among the other military longarms in this sale was an example of the standard English army Brown Bess musket of the period at £2100 and an 1865 example of the percussion Brunswick rifle which superseded the Baker at £1350.

“The cost of altering existing rifles proved too high and only 2000 are thought to have been converted

Another rarity was a rare Nock patent heavy dragoon carbine with its characteristic enclosed lock and shielded powder pan at £3800. This carbine came complete with what appeared to be four genuine sword cuts to the barrel and another two to the stock.