These markings are the seal of King George III, which dates this gun to around 1800. I'd say it's worth about $3000.
- Fact 1: The flintlock mechanism used the spark caused by flint striking steel to ignite gunpowder. It first appeared in rifles in 17th-century France.
- Fact 2: Most flintlocks had a half-cock position for loading the powder pan, which should not fire if accidentally set off; the phrase "going off half-cocked" comes from this.
- Fact 3: Flintlocks proved more reliable than traditional matchlocks in damp naval combat conditions, and became the de facto firing mechanism at sea for three centuries.
- Fact 4: Keeping the gunpowder in an external pan led to occasional misfires; a "flash in the pan" produced sparks and smoke, but did not fire the gun.
- Fact 5: Flintlocks were adapted for larger guns aboard ships in the late 18th century. The rope-pulled variant known as a gunlock became the standard cannon mechanism by the mid-19th century.