sideplate all the reel handles ive seen are straight and made of brass that looks iron.no reason for a reel handle to be curved at one end.
Yeah, sorry - was intended to be text there but obviously didn’t make it to the page. This is brass, with a recessed/hollowed out back - makes me think it’s too light for a reel handle anyway.
My guess, and that’s what it is, a guess, is the side plate from the side opposite the lock from a flintlock muzzle loader.
I have seen many, virtually exactly the same but what bamboozles me is the hole in the centre. The two end screw holes are perfect as they should be and the shape is perfect as is the material of construction but the centre hole has me wondering what firearm it is from.
If the centre hole was not there l would have said that it was from a Brown Bess or similar.
I will virtually guarantee it is from a musket or flintlock of the early whaling, sealing, early inter tribal musket war era but firearms with the third hole in the centre appear few and far between.
East India Company musket? Trade musket? I highly doubt an early flintlock shotgun as it has all the marks of being from a musket.
Definitely owned by no less that Tamati Waka Nene and who can prove otherwise.
I’ve had EIC suggested elsewhere, was found close to where I got that Tranter dustbin. I have seen a sideplate with the centre hole - function unknown though. There are some Baker models which have a larger centre hole, although they are flat plates with no convex profile. There must’ve have been hundreds of variants over the years. Also dug a brass piece about 2’ away which has a slight possibility of having once been a butt plate, although worn to the point of being merely a shape. Very aggressive tidal location with lots of mobile pebbles rattling around.
I think that you have hit the nail on the head - good find and if only it could talk I am sure that it would spin a fantastic yarn of the bad old days.
There will be a lot of variations depending on Make, Model and country of origin which is most likely English.
I think you have one of New Zealands most fascinating areas up there - I sure am jeallyarse and wish I lived there myself - especially in winter!.
The screw holes are about ten millimetres closer than those on an Enfield so pretty close. Military style flintlock musket is my guess.