Here are examples of stock we have previously sold through this site. Below are items by Thomas Ketland, Joseph Manton/James Purdey, Colt and other top Gunmakers.
A very good quality Flintlock Cannon Barrelled box-lock pocket pistol circa 1775. Foliage engraved action signed in scroll on one side KETLAND (unsigned on other side of frame) with crowned TK makers mark for Thomas Ketland and the early Birmingham crowned P and V proof/viewers marks. 54 bore turn off 2" barrel numbered 1 at the breech with matching 1 on frame. Border line engraved sprung frizzen. Sliding trigger guard safety with flower engraving. Figured rounded walnut butt inlaid with silver with silver grotesque mask butt cap Overall length 7.75".
Excellent original patina with clear engraving. Virtually no shrinkage to wood. Minor losses to inlaid silver - approximately 85-90% remaining. Excellent action with working trigger safety and strong frizzen spring inset into frame.
A very good India Pattern Brown Bess with rare Swedish Inspection marks. 39” sighted barrel with remains of King’s proofs and clear Swedish inspectors marks to rear. Border engraved lock plate, engraved ‘Tower’ on the tail and Crown ‘GR’ with inspector’s mark below the pan and to inside of lock above mainspring, pre 1809 Swan neck cock, regulation India Pattern brass furniture comprising butt plate, trigger guard side plate and 3 ramrod pipes, fore-end cap, iron ramrod and sling swivels. Very good lock and barrel. Stock has normal handling marks but again very good condition. Regulation furniture in good condition with handling marks.
In Sweden the plan was to equip their infantry with the Swedish manufactured flintlock rifle model m/1807 but only 200 were made as they proved too expensive to make. Instead of the m/1807, Sweden ordered 35,000 Brown Bess muskets from England in 1808. This is one of those muskets. There are numerous markings. Apart from the normal regulation markings on the lockplate there is a matching number of 928 stamped on the lockplate, buttplate and on the stock behind the sideplate. The 1) S 113 marking on the sideplate, barrel and stock denote the battalion marking of the Southern Gotland Militia who were issued with this Brown Bess until 1853 when they were replaced by the Swedish m/1815. The date of 1853 appears on the inside of the lockplate overstamping the earlier English Ordnance inspection mark and also on the stock behind the sideplate. The triggerguard is marked E.R.N.1010
The rare Swedish inspectors marks on the barrel were probably applied circa 1853 as they include the initials ‘HG’ - the inspection mark of Herman Gjers who was inspector at the Husqvarna factory between March 1850 – September 1850 and again between August 1857- August 1859 and at the Carl Gustaf Stad factory between September 1850-January 1851 and again between September 1856-August 1857. The crown over C B marking under HG LIB is almost certainly associated with the Carl Gustaf Stad facility. Herman Gjers was also a Lieutenant of the Gota Artillery Regiment.
A Very Fine Factory Refinished Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver with case, 36 calibre, s/n 41099 manufactured in 1855
Whether you are for or against refinishing a genuine antique Colt Navy revolver, there is no doubt that a factory refinished Colt is not only the most desirable but also the most expensive solution. We are informed that Colt are no longer currently offering this service on the Colt Navy. This particular Colt Model 1851 navy was refinished by Colt in 1993 with the exception of the grips which were considered to be in excellent original condition. The factory letter included with the revolver confirms the factory refinish and also validates date of manufacture as 1855.
The photographs of this revolver speak volumes. For a revolver to be refinished it needs to be in fine condition like this one otherwise round edges, worn engraving etc will only be accentuated. All matching numbers. The casing for this revolver is a superbly made (in the USA) copy of a Colt dealer case of the period. Bullet mould is not marked Colts Patent but is period. Powder flask is a later addition. Very fine refinished condition with strong case colours and excellent blue. Strong New York City address on barrel. Crisp edges and engraving. Original grips with 95% plus original varnish.
Brass Barrelled Coaching Blunderbuss by KETLAND & CO, circa 1770. 14.25 inch barrel with 4.25 inch octagonal breech section merging into rounded barrel with bands and flared muzzle. Makers mark of TK with Crowned Proof and Viewers marks, top flat of octagonal section marked LONDON with muzzle inscription of HAPPY IS HE THAT ESCAPETH ME. Stepped bevel-edged borderline engraved iron lock signed 'KETLAND & CO' with matching border engraved flintcock and frizzen. Walnut three-quarter stock with rococo carved apron around the engraved tang. Brass furniture including engraved butt plate, stock escutcheon, two ramrod pipes, pierced ribbon sideplate and roll edged flower engraved trigger-guard bow with acorn finial. Mahogany ramrod with horn tip.
Very good overall condition. Less than average handling marks to stock with virtually no wood shrinkage. Iron parts excellent condition with excellent working lock.
Spanish Miquelet holster pistol in the style of Diego Ventura of Madrid, circa 1750 (Der Neue Stockel, Vol 2, p.1325). Excellent miquelet lock. Relief carved stock with inlaid tortoiseshell. Brass triggerguard. Ventura was appointed Gunsmith to Charles III in 1760 and this once high quality miquelet is typical of his style of tortoiseshell inlay.
Wood is relief engraved and generally good except for forend which has two parts detached. Triggerguard in two parts - requires joining. Lock excellent and mechanically sound. There was originally inlaid tortoiseshell on butt cap, shoulder of stock, under fore end and sideplate. There are remains of tortoiseshell on the sideplate and buttcap. Ramrod missing.
Greek bronze dagger with 6.2" blade, 10.2" overall including handle. The ivory/bone grips are still in place without any major pieces missing. The Dagger is mounted in a 14" x 8" display case and surrounded by 7 bronze arrow heads as can be seen in the photos. We believe that the arrow heads are all Late Bronze Age LHIIIB designs and appear to have been cast rather than cut from sheet metal.
We are told that this dagger was the property of a British archaeologist who had assisted a famous German archaeologist during excavations on Thira (Modern Thera or Santorini) in the late 19th century. It is believed that he received the dagger as part payment for his services during the dig. If this is true then it is highly likely that the famous German archaeologist was Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen who organised and self funded excavations on Thira between 1895 and 1904. As the expedition was funded at his own cost it seams likely that archaeologists who took part would have been offered part payment in finds from the dig which backs up the story we have been told about the origins of this dagger. During this period he famously unearthed what is now known as "Ancient Thera". The city of Ancient Thera was inhabited from the 9th Century BC until 726AD and was initially founded by Doric colonists from Sparta. An account of the excavations can be found in the now rare work "Thera Untersuchungen Vermessungen und Ausgrabungen in den Jahren 1895-1898" which was published in 4 volumes in 1899 by Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen himself. The Dagger is similar to known examples of the Peschiera Type of daggers which are characterised by an elliptical leaf-shaped narrow blade with flat midgrip, sloping shoulders and narrow heavy-flanged grip with an almost invariable fish-tail end. There is always one large rivet at the base of the blade to fasten the (ivory, bone or wood) handle. They are usually cast in a one-piece mould. Daggers of the Peschiera type are believed to have originated in North-East Italy and are extremely rare in the Aegean. The dagger does not however have a flange on the blade which is typical of most other known examples of Peschiera type daggers.
The grips are interesting, if they are original then they are extremely well preserved for their age. We believe that the rivets holding the grips in place are in fact made from iron instead of the bronze that forms the rest of the dagger. It is possible that the dagger was passed down through many generations as was normal at the time. The long life and heavy use resulting in the period replacement of the grip with new iron rivets and possible sharpening of the blade eventually removing the flanges that we would expect to see on this type of dagger. It is equally possible that the grips were added to the dagger when it was found in the late 19th century as the Victorians had a different attitude to the display and conservation of antiques than we do today. The exact origin of the the ivory/bone grips will likely remain a mystery and we will allow the buyer to come to their own conclusions.
The blade of the dagger is complete with an even somewhat swollen oxidised green/brown patina typical of a 3000 year old blade. It would likely benefit from a museum quality clean. There are some chips to the cutting edges. The blade appears to have been cast in a single piece and runs the full length of the weapon from the tip to the fishtail. The grips are made from 2 pieces of carved ivory/bone which are held in place either side of the central bronze rib of the handle by a large rivet at the base of the blade and another at the fish-tail end.
A very good quality pair of small Queen Anne Flintlock Cannon Barrelled box-lock pocket/muff pistols circa 1770. Engraved action signed PARKES and LONDON with London proof marks. 100 bore turn off 1.5" barrels. Border engraved frizzens and top jaws. Sliding trigger guard safety with flower engraving. Slender rounded walnut butts inlaid with silver with hallmarked silver grotesque mask butt caps with makers mark of CF (Charles Freeth). Overall length 6". Pleasing original patina with clear engraving. Original finish to Walnut stocks with minor handling wear and small old 1" hairline crack to one pistol. Virtually no losses to inlaid silver and minimal wood shrinkage with excellent wood to metal fit. No replacement parts but one flintcock has had an old joint repair to the throat.
'John Parkes : Gunmaker, Birmingham 1766-88 (Bailey). Marked guns "London". Specialised in mutli-barrelled and Cookson type magazine pistols. Silver mounted 12 shot pistol in Royal Collection, Windsor (no 728) ' - (from Howard Blackmore - Gunmakers of London Supplement 1350 - 1850).
'John Parkes (1767-1780) made cannon barrel boxlock flintlock pocket pistols with silver mask butt caps and flintlock holster pistols. Shop in London'. (from English Irish and Scottish Firearms Makers by A Merwyn Carey).
Campaign Travelling Case in top quality dark burgundy Moroccan leather with embossed Crown Prince Monogram of AG to cover. Made circa 1914 by the renowned Paris maker Gustave Keller of 22 Rue Jaubert, Paris who founded his company in 1856 to make quality travelling cases. Luxury contents include five hand cut crystal jars with silver lined tops,glass stoppers, solid silver lids and gilt lined silver drinking cup, 4 solid ivory brushes, ivory hand mirror, round ivory box, vanity etui, sewing etui (complete with two part corkscrew), velvet lined medal/jewelry box, pin cushion, match case and striker, ivory razor and ivory brush, shoe horn, shaving brush and Moroccan leather clad easel backed shaving mirror strapped to the base. Leather stationery pocket to lid with writing folio containing ivory and sterling silver dip pen and page marker/opener. Nearly all the ivory and solid silver contents are engraved with the Crown Prince Monogram and AG. The silver contents have the French Minerve 950 hallmark and G Keller makers mark. G Keller retailers mark is on case front. Size of case 18" long x 13" wide x 6.75" depth. With the case comes a very large 870 page Limited Edition book on 'The Princes Galitzine' where this particular Prince Aleksandr Galitzine can be found on page 151 reference 791.
During the Great War of 1914-1918, Prince Aleksandr Galitzine initally served in the Red Cross but subsequently served with the Imperial Rifle Guards (the Strelki). He was born on 13 October 1885 at St Petersburg, Russia. He was in the Class of 1908 at the Imperial Alexander Lyceum and subsequently was in service of the Governor General of Finland, General V Bockmann. He also served as a Gentleman of the Chamber. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 he fled Russia to live in France. On 4 February 1927 he married Maria Petrovna Romonov, Princess of Russia and daughter of Petr Nikolaievich Romonov, Grand Duke of Russia and Militza Nikolaievna of Montenegro, Princess of Montenegro. They lived at a house 'Bastide Galitzine' called Six Fours, near Toulon. He died at Le Brusc on 24 March 1974 age 88 and was buried in the Russian Cemetery of Caucade. His wife died 15 May 1981.
The case maker Gustave Keller was appointed official supplier to several European courts including those of Spain, Russia, Greece and Romania and from the 1900s they were commissioned to produce several important cups and trophies for the Principality of Monaco. The firm attracted many brilliant and international clients with members of the Russian Court being probably the most important. From 1897 the last Tsar, Nicholas II, himself personally purchased artefacts from them on a regular basis. Examples of the firm’s work can be found in notable collections including those of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and the Musée d'Orsay, France and the Imperial State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
Outer case in very fine condition with minor scuffing in places. One light mark to case top - probably from a luggage label. No key for lock. Contents are in excellent condition with a few minor knocks to silver tops of jars and a small dent in the drinking cup. All glass in excellent condition. Ivory is excellent except for round ivory box top where ivory has shrunk around edge and split. Minor damage to one of the inside retaining straps (could be repaired). Shoe horn damaged. There are two gaps under the listed items where other items may have been stored. All ivory is pre CITES.
Very good quality 19th Century Damascus Steel Indo-Persian bow with fine quality Silver Koftgari decoration. Top and bottom arms with koftgari decoration to bow front edges, around the grip and top and bottom bow string loops . Arms are jointed at the grip with threaded joint components in excellent order. Each arm made from damascus steel with resulting damascus pattern on both front and back of bow. 34.5 inches overall length.
Silver koftgari decoration was originally applied by heating the finely shaped damascus bow arm and then scoring the surface with a sharp tool in a crosshatched pattern. Damascus steel then heated again and silver wire was applied/inlaid with an engraving tool building up layers for larger patterns as found on this bow. Surface was then burnished and heated again - resulting silver decoration is therefore mechanically bonded onto the damascus surface.
No corrosion present. Museum quality conservation with final finish of heated wax to minimise future rusting. As expected with an antique of this age and the nature of koftgari work, there is some silver decoration loss over the years but 90% plus remains overall. Bottom half of bow has suffered most of the silver loss around grip and bow string loop. Top half has escaped virtually unscathed with minor silver losses.
An excellent display piece.
14 bore (.70), 6.5" barrels with patent breech. All of the working parts are contained within the locks similar to the Henry Nock enclosed style of locks. Gold filled pans. Outside of locks are relief engraved with gilt finish to the background. Left lockplate faintly inscribed SIGNATURE D' ARMISTICE (meaning - signing of armistice). Above the right hand lockplate is inscribed PROPOS (next four letters are unclear) L'AIX (could be PROPOSAL DE L'AIX, meaning prososal of Aix). Both lockplates depict scenes of French soldiers some of whom are trading with other figures who appear to be North American Indians.
The top of the barrels are etched/engraved and also have a gilt background finish. There is faint engraving down the central barrel rib PASSAGE DU MINCIO. On each barrel there is a worn battle scene with cavalry, cannon, horses and soldiers. Under the barrel there is a clear inspector's view/proof/barrel makers mark A over C : the mark of A. Colomb of the Manufacture Royale de St Etienne, the French Royal Armoury, French Empire Period, post 1810 (see Der Neue Stockel Vol 3, p.1698). Also under the barrel are the marks of RONARD MENUT* and CANON TORDU (Damascus twist barrel). Original engraved tang also has gilt inlays. The plain triggerguard and buttcap test as silver. All barrel and lock parts are original, but the stock is almost certainly an old period replacement, because it is crude in its appearance compared to a French stock of the period from the Royal Armoury.
The reference to Aix on the lockplate and other armistice inscriptions refer to Aix-la-Chapelle which was the location of three peace treaty conferences involving the French, the first in 1668, the second in 1748 and the final one, most relevant to this pistol, in 1818. The peace treaty of 1748 of Aix-la-Chapelle between Britain and France restored the fortress of Louisburg, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia to France in return for Madras in India to the British. These earlier treaties may partly explain the symbolic presence of French soldiers and North American Indians engraved on the lockplates.
The barrel engraving depicting the Passage du Mincio is the most intriguing part of this pistol and is symbolic of French power during the Napoleonic Wars as the French engaged the Austrian Empire there in 1796, 1800 and 1814. The engraving bears a striking resemblance to a French period engraving print of the first Passage Du Mincio in 1796. The French General in Command in this battle was no less than Napoleon himself as part of the Italian campaign in the spring of 1796 that started the Napoleonic myth –there are many references to this in history such as Sir Walter Scotts, The life of Napoleon Bonaparte, the memoirs of Napoleon by Bourrienne and even a description in The Military career of Napoleon the Great; an account of the remarkable campaigns of the "man of destiny"linking a personal safety incident after the crossing to the origins of forming his beloved Imperial Guard.
Napoleon used his achievements in this Italian campaign to advance his popularity and commissioned a series of medals to commemorate his victories. The battle scenes on this barrel of crossing the Mincio are also glorifying Napoleon in a similar style – indeed it may well be Napoleon engraved on the barrel on one the horses on the left hand barrel. Further scrutiny of the barrel engraving with positions of the soldiers, horses and engraved swirls etc leads us to believe that the River Mincio is represented by the central barrel rib with Austrians on the right hand barrel and the French army on the left barrel. There is also what appears to be a French soldier bending towards a cannon which points across the ‘Mincio’ central barrel rib and another cannon on the other side pointing towards the French. The presence of cannon is of importance because of Napoleons background as an artillery officer.
We have been unable to trace a barrel maker by the name of Ronard Menut whose name appears under the barrel. Further research in the archives for the French Royal Armoury may reveal more about this person who could be the engraver – indeed there could even be sketches for the final agreed engraving for this pistol which would send the value of this pistol skywards. The pistol is therefore probably a unique presentation piece possibly made for the French delegate (the royalist Duc de Richelieu) to be presented as a gift for one of the leaders of the allied powers at the Congress/Treaty of Aix la Chapelle in 1818. This congress was attended by representatives of the four Allied Powers, the Quadruple Alliance of Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia with the primary aim of the congress to agree the withdrawal of Allied troops from France over 3 years after their victory at the Battle of Waterloo which had ended the Napoleonic Wars. This very important conference was attended, amongst others, by the Duke of Wellington and Lord Castlereagh for Britain. The fact that the pistol is still glorifying Napoleon on the barrel scene was perhaps not the most appropriate diplomatic gift for such a peace conference – perhaps they should have stuck with the symbolic lockplates!
A real sleeper in worn condition. The stock is complete but rather crude compared to French stocks of the period. Barrels and metalwork have an even unrestored worn patina. Gold inlays and gilding are present but worn. The triggerguard shows signs of repair. Engraving mostly clear with no refreshing. Looking at the left lockplate under a magnifying glass it is easy to identify many French uniformed soldiers of the mid 18th century and native Indians along with trade goods. The right hand lockplate is less clear. The scene depicted on the barrel is also worn but there are certainly rows of soldiers, cannon and horses charging against each other on both sides of the central barrel rib.
Overall a historic and unique pistol for the Napoleonic collector with a barrel battle scene probably depicting Napoleon. With the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo rapidly approaching in 2015 this pistol is a unique artefact of the Napoleonic era. The value would be considerably enhanced with further research which may lead a collector to instigate its restoration. We prefer to keep the pistol in its ‘as found’ condition and can only wish we knew more of its movements since manufacture. The only one we can verify is that it was purchased in February 2004 from Denmark.
An excellent cased 31" double barrel 20 bore percussion sporting gun by Joseph Manton, London. Damascus twist sighted barrels with London Proof Marks, each numbered 384 with J.P. 20 on each barrel alongside the breech plug. Very good barrel bores. Top rib signed 'Joseph Manton PATENT Elevation'. Original ram rod with captive worm tip. Finely engraved tang, foliate engraved locks signed 'Joseph Manton LONDON' with matching foliate engraved percussion hammers, matching engraved steel mounts including butt, trigger plate with grip safety and pineapple finial. Walnut half-stock with finely chequered wrist and fore-end, silver barrel bolt escutcheons, silver escutcheon to stock with Viscount's Coronet and Hamilton Crest. In original fitted and lined case with makers trade label for Davies Street, the lid with flush fitting brass carrying handle, brass escutcheon engraved with owners crest (as on stock), accessories including sealed box of 250 percussion caps by Joyce, leather shot flask with game scene, powder flask by James Dixon, wad-cutter and three piece cleaning rod. Trade label is original and rare second earliest version. Walnut stock is excellent with normal handling marks showing evidence under barrels of strengthening under breech from time of percussion conversion. Engraving overall is crisp except for underneath trigger guard and tang of butt. Case has a replaced lock and escutcheon otherwise very original and in good condition.
The Viscount's Coronet (title of Viscount Hamilton created 24 August 1786) combined with the Hamilton Crest show that the original owner of this sporting gun was one of Joseph Manton's earliest customers, John James Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Abercorn KG, PC (Ire) (July 1756 – 27 January 1818) an " admirable nobleman who always went out shooting in his Blue Ribbon (KG - Order of the Garter)" - quote from G W E Russell. A pair of single barrel duelling pistols from 1791 serial number 305 also bear the same Viscounts Coronet and the Hamilton Crest. See 'The Manton Supplement' by W Keith Neal & D H L Back, pages 186 and 215.
Notes: We have seen the initials J.P. on barrels of several percussion conversions of Joseph Manton's sporting guns along with other pistols by Joseph Manton which had further work circa 1815-1825 (such as under the barrels on conversion from duelling to officers pistols with captive ramrods) by which time James Purdey had left the employ of Joseph Manton and set up on his own in 1814. We have been unable to find documented evidence that the JP initials are definitely James Purdey but at least two of the other JP markings on conversions have carried this highly plausible theory including the officers pistols where the JP initials 'font' has the stylised J and P - interestingly those pistols were still in flintlock form so there was no conversion requiring a false breech or re-proofing but captive ramrods had been fitted and barrels rifled.
Very good cased 28" double barrel 16 bore sporting gun by William Dooley of Liverpool. Re-browned damascus twist barrels with Birmingham proofs and impressed makers mark of MW. Serial number 527 on underside of barrels with matching number on breech which has platinum lined touch hole. Makers name of DOOLEY, 76 LIME ST, LIVERPOOL engraved on central barrel rib. Back action locks marked with makers name with engraved game bird scene with dogs. Fine foliate engraving to tang and fore-end ramrod pipe. Double triggers with engraved trigger guard. Walnut stock with finely checkered wrist, vacant silver escutcheon to underside and two piece butt plate. Walnut stock is excellent with normal handling marks. Engraving overall is crisp except for underneath trigger guard. Excellent near mint barrel bores. Fine action. Steel furniture in excellent condition.
Complete in period Dooley Case with original makers trade label for 11 Ranelagh, Liverpool. William Dooley moved to Liverpool from Warrington, Lancashire between 1834 and 1835. In 1836 his business was situated at 46 Lime Street and in 1837 he moved to 76 Lime Street. Between 1839 and 1846 he moved to 11 Ranelagh Street where he remained until 1864 when he moved to share 9 Ranelagh Street with E & G Higham & Co. In 1865 Higham took over the firm. Early in the last century the business was sold to W C Carswell. Case is comprehensively fitted out containing wad cutter, brush, percussion nipple key, Joyce cap tin, Hawksley oil bottle, striker pot with spare set, Sykes Patent powder flask, two piece cleaning rod with mop, Sykes Patent shot belt with adjustable Irish Charger, percussion cap dispenser and spare wads. Case escutcheon engraved with owners name of Mr McLaughlan of Liverpool (not researched).
An early dated 1786 Light Dragoon Flintlock Pistol. 15½” overall, 16 bore 9” round barrel with proof marks, border engraved flat lockplate signed Tower on tail and Crown over GR, border engraved cock, regulation furniture including lobed butt cap, brass trigger guard, side plate and ramrod pipe. Original ramrod. Stock with marking of Crown over entwined GR and 1786. Also stock makers mark of IW to side plate and an inspectors crown mark near trigger guard. Period leather dragoons holster.
Pan is pitted otherwise very good metalwork. Excellent lock. Stock with old fore end spliced repair and normal handling marks. Holster in very good unrestored worn condition.
39" Barrel Brown Bess Musket, .75" bore with very clear inspectors mark, proof marks and heart mark acceptance stamp of the British East India Company. Matching barrel and butt number 1096. Lock in excellent working order with EIC Rampant Lion mark and inspectors mark. Post 1809 throat hole flintcock. All correct regulation brass furniture of buttplate, recessed sideplate, ramrod pipes, fore end cap and triggerguard. Sling swivels fitted. Stock stamped with armoury number. Barrel is excellent externally polished armoury bright with clear proof/acceptance marks. All Lock parts are original, the lock is pitted but clean. All original brass furniture and sling swivels with nice patina. Stock shows signs of use with bruising and a few very small inset repairs.
This particular Brown Bess was in use late into the 20th century for ceremonial purposes in a North West province of India. The stock was darkened and the steel polished to achieve maximum effect on parade. However now having been returned to the UK it remains a difficult to find genuine original EIC Bess circa 1810-1820.
This rare garniture comprises of;-
A pair of Nickel Silver stocked Percussion Rams Horn belt pistols, with thistles and foliage engraved locks, stock engraved with matching thistles and foliage, 7" blued two stage octagonal to part round part multi sided barrels of 38 bore with Birmingham Proofs and barrels consecutively numbered 39 and 40, matching engraved hammer with platinum breech plug, belt hooks to side. Thistle shaped triggers with nickel silver thistle prickers to Rams Horn butt. Pistols are unsigned. 11.5" overall length.
A regulation Scottish Military Basket Hilted Broadsword with 80cm double-fullered blade, etched with flowing thistles and crowned GR regulation steel hilt with wire bound fish skin grip, contained in its steel mounted scabbard with two suspension rings. A leather sword cross belt with silver buckles engraved to match sporran and dress belt and further buckle with Scottish crest and arms 'Nemo Me Impune Lacessit' - the national motto of the Kingdom of Scotland. A large horn powder-flask with ornate thistle and game cast mounts, large cairngorm and chain link sling. A silver mounted white horse hair sporran with two silver mounted black tassels, the silver foliage engraved with central Cameron crest of a dexter arm in armour embowed brandishing a sword. A leather dress belt with silver buckle engraved to match sporran with same Cameron dexter arm crest. A silver mounted Highland dirk of characteristic form with 11.5" blade, knife and fork all with stag horn grips. Foliate engraving and Cameron dexter arm crest to match other silver mounts with inlaid cairngorms to dirk, knife and fork. Original scabbard.
A complete good quality Highland dress (less shoes but including silver shoe buckles with matching engraving and socks) in Cameron of Locheil Tartan including kilt: dark wool and silk dark braid and gold trimmed jacket/doublet with 34 silver diamond shaped buttons embossed with figure in highland dress to jacket tails, braided front and sleeve cuffs: red silk waistcoat with gold trim and thistle diamond buttons: full dress length shoulder plaid with silver plaid brooch mounted with a cairngorm: Glengarry with Cameron dexter arm dress badge and chiefs eagles feather (also antique).
Pistols retain nearly 50% original bluing to barrels and locks. All the silver has a dark patina and has been left uncleaned. Wear to jacket and waistcoat with faded gold trim but all commensurate with age and extensive original use. Sword has been polished bright and in our opinion may be the only replacement item in this garniture.
Overall an original good quality garniture of a Clan Chief which displays well as a centrepiece to any Scottish collection of weapons.
5.5 in. (14cm) blued octagonal sighted barrel with five groove rifling. Blued grooved top strap, border engraved blued frame marked 'KERR'S PATENT NO 50' with London proof marks. Blued matching serial numbered cylinder with London proof marks. Border engraved back action lock signed 'LONDON ARMOURY. BERMONDSEY'. Plain trigger-guard with border engraved butt cap engraved '1st SUSSEX ARTILLLERY VOLUNTEERS No 5'. Bright rammer with locking catch. In original fitted oak case lined in green baize with full complement of accessories including an early type rare Kerr combination tool, a double cavity brass bullet mould, a Japanned Joyce and Co cap tin, a cleaning rod with captive screw, a Dixon oil bottle, a Dixon revolver flask and a rare original Eleys Percussion Cap bag with original Eleys and suppliers labels. The case lid has the original label for Kerr's Directions for Loading and Cleaning. Circular brass escutcheon to case lid and lock.
Complete with a very fine and scarce original Officers Helmet Plate of the First Sussex Artillery Volunteers from the same period. The silvered helmet plate with Victoria crowned Royal Arms, pierced around the shield, with scroll below inscribed "First" over an artillery piece resting on a scroll inscribed "Sussex Artillery Volunteers". Three loops to reverse. Revolver in fine overall condition with crisp edges and engraving and more than 90% blue remaining. Original cylinder has slight pitting where rested in case over the years. Bore is near mint. Case is original with original lining. Dixon revolver flask has broken spring and a few dents but displays well. All accessories in very good condition.
This revolver incorporates British Patent no. 2896 of 17th December 1858 and 242 of 26th January 1859. The butt shape appears to be unique to the first 100 or so revolvers. Dixon revolver flask is of the Dixon Colt pocket type.
This is one of the earliest cased Kerr's revolvers. It was previously thought that the earliest cased example was in the Val Forgett collection sold through Rock Island Auctions in 2007 with a serial number just a few numbers earlier. However, the oldest genuinely cased Kerrs with matching armorial on case and 80 bore revolver is serial number 42 which was made for Admiral Sir Alexander Milne who was Commander in Chief North America and West Indies Station during the American Civil War.
It is clear from various articles and opinions on the early Kerrs revolvers and the Sussex Artillery that there are as many opinions as variations in Kerrs revolvers. For example, one article states that the 100 issued to the Sussex Artillery were in .44 calibre (54 bore) with serial numbers in the range 87-187. That is clearly wrong but the article was probably based upon a Sussex Artillery marked 54 bore Kerrs with a serial number in that range. Another online reference from a highly knowledgeable and respected collector recalls a Sussex Artillery marked Kerrs serial number 123 but in .36 calibre (100 bore). It is now clear that the 100 issued to the Sussex Artillery were not consecutively numbered and were made in 54, 80 and 100 bore variants.
During the 1860's, Shoreham Fort was garrisoned by the 1st Sussex Volunteer Artillery of Eastern Division, Royal Artillery, whose headquarters were in Brighton. They were formed just before 1860 as Rifle Volunteers from the local rifle clubs and were joined by artillery volunteers following the invasion scare of Napoleon III. The Sussex Volunteer Artillery was considered to be the cream of Volunteer Artillery units and in 1865 at the Shoeburyness National Artillery Meeting it won the Queen’s Prize and the Lord Palmeston Prize for accurate shooting.
The casing for this revolver is old - just how old is debateable. It could well be period or slightly later. Unusually it is fitted out for a left handed person. Included in the casing are two cylinders which both fit the revolver even though one is the original cylinder which has blown apart and from the patina, probably in period. Bullet mould is not a marked Colts Patent but period. Powder flask is a later addition. All matching numbers including excellent wedge. Matching number on period replacement cylinder which has been superbly etched with cylinder scene. Hand cut grips probably done in period as cutting has overlapped nickel silver of backstrap in places which shows age.
Very good overall condition. Barrel is crisp with approximately 30-40% original blue. Excellent bore. Rammer has strong case colours remaining. Frame also has good case colours. Mechanically sound. Near 100% cylinder scene on etched replacement cylinder. Blown cylinder has matching number and good scene on remaining part. Around 90% plus original Nickel Silver on backstrap and triggerguard. Strong New York City address on barrel. It is apparent that the blown cylinder blew out of the top of the revolver and did no other damage to the revolver as the frame, barrel etc are in excellent alignment. A unique item for the Colt collector which can be displayed with either the excellent period replacement cylinder or the original blown cylinder which still fits like a glove.
A story came with this gun from the USA that it was owned by a left handed gunfighter. It is tempting to treat such stories with a pinch of salt. It could equally be an American Civil War item. However, the fact is that the casing is a left handed one, the cylinder has blown apart probably from an overloaded hand made cartridge and the grips are hand chequered. Whatever happened, this Colt is certainly a conversation piece.
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