**A RARE HODGE'S PATENT ELASTIC GUN
Lot 321**A RARE HODGE'S PATENT ELASTIC GUN, NO. 22, CIRCA 1850 with walnut full stock fitted with rigid steel 'spreader', engraved brass action 'R. E. Hodges Patentee, London, 22', fitted with adjustable calibrated back-sight behind, chequered grip and fore-end, and engraved steel trigger-guard and butt-plate (the steel parts rubbed and with light pitting) overall 118.7cm; 46 3/4in In 1849 Richard Edward Hodges was granted a patent for 'Improvements in Mechanical Purchases which are also applicable whole or in part to projectiles', which incorporated the use of 'vulcanised caoutchouc' or rubber as opposed to the previously used sinew in crossbows. Another example of this type, numbered 11, is preserved in the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds. See H. L. Blackmore 1971, p. 171, p. 209 and pl. 84
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