CASED PAIR OF 3RD LIGHT DRAGOONS OFFICERS PERCUSSION PISTOLS OF CARBINE BORE BY SMITH
An interesting cased pair of 3rd Light Dragoons Officers Percussion Pistols by Smith, circa 1842. 9" round barrels of carbine bore with deep proof marks and original browning. Engraved lockplates signed Smith. Excellent stocks with original varnish. Iron furniture with engraved triggerguard. Brass tipped ramrods. The case is particularly attractive and unusual - an all original burr yew veneer which has mellowed and developed a very pleasing patina. Case has original lining and some accessories including cleaning rod, cap tin, turnscrew, a few patches and a ball. Also a three way flask which looks like a field replacement copy of the original flask as it fits very nicely but is a little crude and has ball compartment lid missing. The pistols are sleepers with original varnish and untouched barrels with original browning and varnish. Browned barrels show signs of use with some light pitting/colour loss towards breech. Iron parts have even patina. No missing veneer to case or apparent repairs. Original lining to case. Flask missing compartment lid.
The original owner of these pistols was Cornet Edward Worley (crest and initials on lid escutcheon) of the 3rd Light Dragoons who was killed in the charge of the 3rd Light Dragoons carrying the regimental standard at the Battle of Moodkee on 18th December 1845 during the first Anglo Sikh war. Cornet Worley purchased his commission in the 3rd Light Dragoons on 16th August 1842. Best references for the Anglo-Sikh Wars are Donald Featherstone : 'At Them With The Bayonet - The First Sikh War' and George Bruce : 'Six battles for India - The Anglo-Sikh Wars 1845-6, 1848-9'.
HISTORIC CASED RIVIERE DUELLING PISTOLS OF CAPTAIN FRANK ABNEY-HASTINGS, VETERAN OF TRAFALGAR AND HERO OF GREEK WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
This cased pair of duelling/officers pistols were originally owned by one the greatest unsung heroes of the 19th Century, Captain Frank Abney-Hastings who played a major part in the Greek War of Independence (200th Anniversary this year) yet is scarcely remembered for his exploits in his country of adoption and virtually unknown in his country of birth, England, despite a distinguished and sometimes controversial Naval Career which ended in a Court Martial for duelling. He not only designed and commissioned but also commanded the first steam ship used in action. See below for more details.
The pistols are high quality percussion duelling/officers pistols by Isaac Riviere of London made circa 1820 and showing signs of extensive original use. Heavy octagonal barrels nearly 9 inches long of 54 bore signed RIVIERE LONDON on top flat show heavy use in period and have not been re-struck. Stepped, bevel edged, foliate engraved lockplates signed RIVIERE with matching foliate engraved hammers, platinum plugs and two platinum lines to breeches. Iron furniture with stand of arms engraved to spurred trigger guard. Quality Walnut stocks in good condition with silver barrel bolt escutcheons and chequered grips. Ramrods with captive extractors, one with replacement brass fore end. Overall length 14.5 inches. Original mahogany case and lining with inset front hooks, original label of Riviere, lined in blue velvet containing a three way flask for powder, balls and caps/patches, turnscrew, bullet mould and cleaning rod with extractor, also what looks like the original case key. Case in very good condition, lid has circular lift ring handle with engraved owners escutcheon “This Case of Pistols was bequeathed by Frank Abney Hastings Esq,. to his Friend Cap’n E. H. Scott, RN"- see David Crane, ‘Men of War’ page 2 for details of this bequest in the will of Frank-Abney Hastings.
Bequeathed to Captain Edward Hinton Scott, R.N. By Frank Abney-Hastings
Bequeathed to RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) by Captain Edward Hinton Scott
Sold by RUSI as one of the artefacts when they closed their museum.
Exhibited at exhibition organised by descendant, Maurice Abney-Hastings in 2011.
Illustrated in book ‘Commander of the Karteria’ plate number 8, author Maurice abney-Hastings.
RIVIERE, Gunmaker: Isaac Riviere b.1781, Gunmaker, 121 Oxford Street 1809 -1817: 315 Oxford Street, London 1818 - 1851. Riviere joined the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) in 1821, became a Sgt in 1829, Lieutenant 1829-1833 and Captain of the Jager Corps 1833-48. He organised a rifle range at Wormwood scrubs and leased it to the HAC and the Royal Victoria Rifles of which he was Corps Treasurer. He lived at Rifle Cottage, Wood Lane, Hammersmith(Howard Blackmore, ‘Gunmakers of London 1350-1850’)
Excellent history with photo of the pistols in the hands of Maurice Abney-Hastings at;-
Frank Abney Hastings, Captain R.N, was the son of Lieutenant-General Charles Hastings, illegitimate son of Francis Hastings, 10th Earl of Huntingdon. Born in 1794, Frank Hastings entered the Royal Navy in 1805, and as a first class boy (rated Acting Midshipman) of only 11 years of age he was in the Neptune at the BATTLE of TRAFALGAR. HMS Neptune was a 98-gun three-deck ship built at Deptford in 1797. At Trafalgar she was under the command of Captain (later Admiral Sir) Thomas Freemantle and was in the thick of the action. After the battle she towed the crippled HMS Victory with Admiral Nelson's body on board. One can only imagine how this intense battle and its aftermath affected an 11 year old with only six months service. Although it was Hastings first taste of action, he appears to have learnt from it as his subsequent interest in artillery and gunnery stemmed from an event on the Neptune during the action when an explosion of powder between decks killed or wounded several men.
During his Royal Naval service Hastings visited every quarter of the globe and was serving in HMS Seahorse when that frigate engaged two Turkish men-of-war and captured one of them which proved to be a much larger frigate than the Seahorse. He also commanded part of the Naval Brigade in the BATTLE of NEW ORLEANS during the War of 1812.
After nearly fifteen years service Hastings was sent to the West Indies in 1819 in command of the KANGAROO. It was to be his last Royal Naval command. When bringing the Kangaroo to an anchor he purportedly ‘overlayed’ the anchor of the flag-ship in the harbour. Unfortunately, the flag-captain took real offence at this action and hailed Hastings, insulting him in a loud voice that everyone in the harbour could hear. Hastings could not overlook this public insult and challenged the flag-captain to a duel or an apology. Rather than accept the challenge, the flag-captain reported the challenge to his admiral, and as duelling was illegal in the navy, the admiral had no choice but to Court Martial Hastings and he was dismissed from the service. Hastings protestations to Lord Melville, then first Lord of the Admiralty, came to nothing.
With hopes of a career in the Royal Navy dashed, Hastings looked to a foreign service to make his name and that was exactly what he did but it was to cost him his life. He moved to France to learn the language and then joined the Greek cause to take an active part in the Greek revolution serving in the Greek navy under Admiral Lord Cochrane and alongside other notable Greek ‘Philhellenes’ (supporters of Greek independence) such as Lord Byron.
Hastings sailed for Greece on the 12th of March 1822 from Marseilles. On the 3rd of April he reached Hydra. For two years he took part in the naval operations of the Greeks in the Gulf of Smyrna and elsewhere. However, apart from a lack of discipline amongst the Greeks, he saw that the light squadrons of the Greeks must in the end be overpowered by the heavierTurkish navy. As a result, in 1823 Hastings drew up and presented to Lord Byron a very able plan which Lord Byron laid before the Greek government in 1824. The ideas in this plan were of great importance to the Greek insurrection, but they were also far reaching and formed the basis of a great revolution in naval gunnery and tactics. In substance the plan advocated the use of steamers in preference to sailing ships, and of direct fire with shells and hot shot as a more lethal means of destroying the Turkish fleet than fire-ships.
The application of Hastings’s ideas led necessarily to the disuse of sailing ships, and the introduction of armour plating. Regretably, the limited resources of the fledgling Greek government prevented the full application of Hastings’s bold and far-seeing plans, even though they were also supported by Admiral Lord Cochrane who put them forward as his own idea. However, largely by the use of Hastings own money, of which he is said to have spent £7,000, Hastings was able to some extent to carry out a small part of his larger plan. In 1824 he returned to England to obtain a steamer, and in 1825 returned to Greece with a small steamer named the “ Karteria “ (Perseverance), manned by Englishmen, Swedes and Greeks.
The Karteria was mounted with eight sixty-eight pounder guns – four of which were carronades of the normal government pattern and four of a new design, cast and prepared by Hastings himself. These new guns designed by Hastings were a massive seven feet four inches long in the bore and weighed fifty-eight hundred weight. Mounting alterations were also designed and the hot shot was heated in the steam engine fires. His new guns were designed to use eight inch shells as well as hot shot. In the forthcoming actions, Hastings fired over 20,000 shells!
Hastings did enough to show that if his advice for several ships had been vigorously followed the Turks would have been driven off the sea long before the date of the famous Battle of Navarino. The lethal effect produced by his hot shells in an attack on the sea-line of communication of the Turkish army, then besieging Athens at Oropus and Volo in March and April 1827, was clear proof that much more could have been achieved. Greek military disorganisation caused the defeat of the Greeks round Athens. However, Hastings, (in co-operation with General Sir R. Church) successfully shifted the scene of the attack to western Greece. Here, his devastating destruction of nine Turkish naval ships at Salona Bay in the Gulf of Corinth (29th September 1827) provoked the Turks leader, Egyptian General Ibrahim Pasha, into seeking revenge against Hastings. This quest for revenge precipitated the aggressive and impetuous movements which led to the destruction of his Turkish fleet by the allies at the Battle of Navarino on 20th October 1827. Frustrated with the the Greek leaders and his worsening financial position, Hastings quit the Greek navy but returned for one action which literally proved to be his last. On the 25th of May 1828 Hastings was a victim of ill discipline on the part of Greek privateers who were part of his force in an attack on Anatolikon, and he was wounded trying to remedy the situation. Without proper medical care, he died a few days later on the 1st of June.
Another Philhellene, General Gordon, who served in the war and wrote its history, says of him: “ If ever there was a disinterested and really useful Philhellene it was Hastings. He received no pay, and had expended most of his slender fortune in keeping the ‘ Karteria ‘ afloat for the last six months. His ship, too, was the only one in the Greek navy where regular discipline was maintained.” Other notable historians of the Greek Revolution, such as Finlay, also speak highly about Hastings contribution. The Greek Revolution owes a lot to the exploits and success of Frank Hastings, the first ever Captain of a steam driven warship used in action, but sadly during his lifetime he was treated by them with neglect and his ambitions were never fulfilled. After his death, the great value of his services and his achievements became more appreciated but all hope of organising the Greek Navy perished with him. Whilst the Greek Government conferred honours, awards and ribands on many less deserving (but influencial and rich) individuals, Hastings never received any honours, not even posthumously.
It is sad reflection that even Hastings funeral at Egina (Capital of Greece in 1828 after the fall of Athens) was paid for by his old shipmates from the Karteria, ironically using money he had paid them from his own pocket. It was attended by many dignatories and was a grand but sombre affair. Amongst the memorials to him the Greek state moved the bones of Frank Abney Hastings in 1861 to the Poros Naval Station, where an obelisk monument was erected to honour his contribution to the Greek war for Independence.There are many books either written about Frank Abney-Hastings or ones that mention him, the main ones being ‘Commander of the Karteria” and David Crane’s “Men of War”. Several examples are photographed below and are included in the sale of these pistols including a facsimile copy of his memoir written in 1828 “MEMOIR ON THE USE OF SHELLS, HOT SHOT AND CARCASS SHELLS FROM SHIP ARTILLERY”.
Maurice Abney-Hastings, a descendant of Frank Abney-Hastings did a great deal of work to bring his ancestors achievements into public notice including an excellent website captainfrank.co.uk but sadly the website content has largely disappeared following the death of Maurice in 2016. As Maurice Abney-Hastings said, these are also highly probably the pistols referred to in a press cutting in the Times (Newspaper) in 1827 (see below) where Hastings shot himself in the foot (during a duel) by accident due to the hair triggers!
A GOOD FRENCH MODEL 1842 PERCUSSION GENDARME PISTOL DATED 1845
French M1842 Percussion Gendarme Pistol. The 5 inch, 22 bore smoothbore barrel dated 1845, sharp markings with initials MB below the bolster and barrel bearing the touch/proof marks Crown/M and Crown/S. Tang marked M.1842. Back action lock strongly marked 'Mre. Rle./de Mutzig' the Manufacture Royale de Mutzig. Steel furniture bearing inspector's marks. Walnut stock bearing Royal Cipher of the Mutzig Factory, storekeeper's mark and various inspector's marks. Stock is good with normal handling marks, mainly to reverse side. Overall very good and all original including ramrod. In untouched sleepy condition with lovely patina. Overall length 10".
ARMOURERS CUT AWAY MARTINI HENRY .450/577” MK2 ARTILLERY CARBINE
.450/577" Armourers cut away Martini Henry Mk2 Artillery carbine. Mk2 rifle action with Victorian Birmingham black powder proof marks, engraved to the left side "SMRC SPECIAL CONVERTED FOR THE SOCIETY OF MINIATURE RIFLE CLUBS BY C G BONEHILL BIRMINGHAM". Carbine is cut away to the right side to show internal working parts, the block also sectioned to show the movement of the striker.
Walnut stock, the butt chequered to the wrist is fitted with regulation Mk2 carbine furniture and is cut away to the top of the hand area to show the location of the stock bolt. Henry rifled barrel with short carbine ladder rear sight is sectioned at the breach through the knox form to show chamber area and rifling lead and to the front of the rear sight to show the seven groove Henry rifling. Built up on a Bonehill Martini action as an armourer’s instructional tool to show how the rifle works these rare cut away rifles are both a fascinating engineering tool and an interesting decorative piece. In good condition with fully working parts, a desirable item for the Martini collector.
A 16 BORE SCOTTISH RAMSHORN BUTT FLINTLOCK BELT PISTOL FORMED ENTIRELY OF STEEL BY MILLS OF LONDON SUPPLIED BY GEORGE HUNTER OF EDINBURGH CIRCA 1822
A highly interesting large bore Scottish Belt Pistol made by William Mills of London circa 1822 with barrel inscription of George Hunter of Edinburgh. Please see my blog “Sir Walter Scott and George Hunter re-invent Scottish Traditions”.
Four stage 16 bore barrel 6.75" long with retailers address “RETAILED BY GEORGE HUNTER, SUPPLIER MERCHANT & MILITARY CONTRACTOR, EDINBURGH”. Bead front sight. Original ramrod. Flat border engraved lockplate with scrolls and signature of “MILLS”. Matching engraved throat hole cock, semi rainproof pan, border engraved roller frizzen. Trigger button and scroll butt pricker with silver overlay and petal engraving. Engraved and pierced belt hook. All steel stock with ramshorn scroll butt, large vacant silver escutcheon to backstrap, frame engraved with scrolls, stand of arms to each side and thistles. Overall length 11.25".
All original, pistol has been cleaned bright at some stage. Excellent working action.
William Mills , Gunmaker, (formerly Apprenticed to William Parker) was in business in 1821 at 59 Judd Street, Brunswick Sq. and between 1822-43 was at 120 High Holborn with a factory at 1 King Street. He was appointed gunmaker to King George IV in 1830. The barrel inscription of George Hunter makes it highly probable that this was one of the pistols commissioned to supply demand for the visit to Scotland of King George IV to Edinburgh in August 1822.
George Hunter was an army contractor, military outfitter and supplier based at 25 Princes Street, Edinburgh and Tokenhouse Yard, London. He was retained by Sir Walter Scott, organiser of the Kings visit in 1822, to supply various outfits for the pageant and Scottish Pistols were one of the items required for this ‘re-invention’ of Highland Dress to accompany the new Clan Tartans created for the occasion. 1822 was Hunters last year of trading.
A RARE PAIR OF IRISH FLINTLOCK POCKET PISTOLS WITH HIDDEN TRIGGERS BY JOHN READ OF DUBLIN CIRCA 1779
A FINE PATTERN 1858 ENFIELD RIFLE-MUSKET WITH INDIAN STORES AND EIC MARKINGS DATED 1858
AN INTERESTING CASED COLT MODEL 1851 LONDON NAVY REVOLVER- CAPTAIN FRANK WILLAN, OXFORDSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY
Please see WW1 Named Campaign Case ( below ) for family related item
For details of owner see
A WW1 PERIOD CAMPAIGN CASE NAMED TO LIEUT R H WILLAN 60TH RIFLES
Please see Cased Colt Model 1851 Navy ( above ) for family related item
For details of owner see
RARE AND ORIGINAL DUBLIN CASTLE BROWN BESS FLINTLOCK MUSKET CIRCA 1795
A rare Dublin Castle Brown Bess Flintlock Musket. 39" barrel in very good condition with proofs and inspectors crown mark between, regulation .75" bore, foresight/bayonet stud. Lockplate and furniture with no border line engraving (as noted on later genuine Dublin Castle locks) with DUBLIN CASTLE engraved to tail, Crown over GR under pan, Swan Neck cock of 1793 pattern, all original with excellent patina. Feint but distinguishable 4 on inside of lockplate immediately to the right of the mainspring to bolster attachment screw (4 with a crown was the Irish inspectors stamp/number as noted by Goldberg and Mowbray book, page 83, of "The Brown Bess"). Very strong working action. Regulation 1793 brass furniture marked 1/17 to the buttplate tang with the Dublin Castle feature (seen on the handful of these 39" muskets surviving) of a flat sideplate (as opposed to rounded/raised on normal 1793 Pattern) marked PATTISON. M. J Pattison was a Government contractor who had a business in Dublin c1790-1840. Good original stock with general handling marks, some old filled wormholes, minor infill repair to left hand side rear barrel pin area, old repaired crack between lockplate and triggerguard. Iron ramrod looks to be original. 55" overall length.
Dated as pre 1798 as they ceased to apply the Dublin Castle mark after that date although assembly continued up to 1815.
One of a handful of genuine 1793 Pattern 39" Barrel Dublin Castle Brown Bess Flintlock Muskets known to survive.
SUPERB LIMITED EDITION BROWN BESS LONG LAND MUSKET WITH ALMOST 2 LBS OF HALLMARKED SILVER MOUNTS MADE FOR THE BICENTENARY OF THE REVOLUTION IN 1976
This is a very high quality Brown Bess Long Land pattern musket made by Normans of Framlingham to mark the Bicentenary of the American Revolution in 1976. This is number 8 of a Limited Edition of 100 made by them which features hand engraved nine piece silver mounts amounting to nearly 2lbs of solid silver, hallmarked by the London Assay Office as proof of its quality. Ramrod pipes are of the barrel type, the ramrod being in steel rather than the early wooden ramrods. The buttplate is of a fine ornamental style, as is the escutcheon which is a stylised grenade which has the number of the musket engraved. Both these styles are illustrated in the definitive work, Blackmore’s "British Military Firearms 1650-1850" on page 76.
The lock is copied in detail from an original Long Land Pattern Musket and in keeping with its period has neither pan bridle nor tumbler bridle. It is made of mild steel and case hardened. The number of the musket is engraved on the tail of the lock plate.
The stock is made from selected English Walnut which was cut to requirements and then air dried for up to four years. It was then hand shaped and finished and carefully polished to bring out the full beauty of this scarce and elegant wood.
The barrel is 46"in length and .75" in calibre. It is tapered to the exact profile of the originals. Whilst the barrel carries the Royal Crown Proof Mark of the Birmingham Proof House, this particular example was de-activated by the Birmingham Barrel Proof House on 11th May 2010 rendering it incapable of being fired and can therefore be owned without a shotgun certificate. However, the flintlock action still works fine. The original De-activation Certificate, sealed by the Proof House, comes with the musket. By special permission of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, the Three Feathers Badge of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales is hand engraved on the barrel with the inscription "1775-1975"
This Brown Bess also comes complete with its original eight page booklet detailing it’s manufacture including history of Normans of Framlingham,, Brown Bess musket drill etc. It is in superb condition and hard to believe that it is already nearly fifty years old. Indeed, festivities are already planned for the 250th anniversary on 4th July 2026 of the United States Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies in 1776. A website can be found on the internet detailing these celebrations, https://america250.org/
With apologies for the delay in putting this description on the website - the booklet had been mislaid!
A CASED PAIR OF 100 BORE PERCUSSION BOXLOCK POCKET PISTOLS BY WESTLEY RICHARDS
A very good cased pair of small Percussion Boxlock Pocket pistols by Westley Richards of London. 100 bore and only 5" long overall with 1.5" octagonal screw off barrels with engraved band to muzzle. Birmingham Proofs with frames and barrels marked 1 and 2 respectively. Finely engraved actions signed WESTLEY RICHARDS on left side and LONDON to right side with Dolphin engraved hammers, sliding safety and hidden folding triggers. Rounded chequered butts with vacant oval silver escutcheons. Silver spurred buttcaps finely engraved with cloudburst. Contained in their original antique green velvet lined mahogany case, complete with accessories including fitted barrel key removal tool, lead bullets, patches, percussion caps and in a lidded compartment with a bullet mould, flask (spring AF), cleaning rod and cap box. Marine ivory key escutcheon. A crisp pair of very small pocket pistols by a quality maker.
A sign of originality and condition with these cased pocket pistols is that the lead bullets fit snugly (as intended) in the breech when barrel removed and allow the barrel to be screwed back on without the bullet impeding the process. Then try to fit the same bullet in the muzzle end without removing the barrel and it will be fractionally too large. This is a good sign as bullet is a tight fit within barrel and is only expelled when there is a powder charge behind it otherwise the bullet may simply roll out of barrel! Basic but surprising how many pocket pistols fail this test. This pair does not fail.
See the current Westley Richards website for history of the company and photographs of a similar larger pair of pocket pistols.
A GOOD FLINTLOCK HOLSTER PISTOL CIRCA 1795 BY CHARLES GRIERSON, GUNMAKER TO GEORGE III
A good flintlock holster pistol circa 1795 by Charles Grierson of London, Gunmaker to King George III and former workman of John Manton. Blued 7” round 25 bore swamped barrel marked LONDON (minor pitting) with crisp London proof marks. Lock signed GRIERSON with swan neck cock. Excellent working action, frizzen spring possibly a old replacement. Walnut full stock (old repaired crack behind lock otherwise very good) with brass mounts including long eared buttcap and vacant escutcheon. Wooden ramrod. Overall length 13.” A relatively small but tactile holster pistol by a good maker who previously worked for John Manton before setting up on his own at 10 New Bond Street, London between 1793-1841. Appointed Gunmaker to King George III. This is an early example of his work.
A HISTORIC DATED 1815 PRESENTATION BROWN BESS PATTERN 1793 (INDIA PATTERN TYPE 1) FROM BATTLE OF WATERLOO
From my personal collection and owned for nearly 20 years, this is an exceptionally rare opportunity to acquire a Brown Bess which, according to a note scrolled up inside the ramrod channel, was presented by Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin RN to his friend Isaac Hull (who commanded the USS Constitution).
When I acquired this musket, I had wondered why it would have a presentation inscription engraved on a damaged buttplate as the damage looked in period. A few years after acquiring it, I decided to do something about the ill fitting ramrod which protruded beyond the end of the barrel. Ramrod was correct length so I decided to put a long rod, with a worm attached, down the ramrod channel into the stock to see if there was an obstruction. Upon withdrawing the rod, there were scraps of paper attached to the worm. To cut a long story short, after many attempts I managed to extract a considerable amount of paper, sadly very shredded. The ramrod then fitted but is still a little loose as the paper had taken up the slack before being compressed and shredded over many years. It took two days to iron out the paper scraps and even then there were parts missing but the hand written message was just readable except for the first word/s ".………. musket from the field of Waterloo for my friend Isaac Hull".
Suddenly the presentation inscription made sense - it was as found and retrieved, after being damaged, from Waterloo and damage not touched. Furthermore, after research, it shed light on who it was presented to - Isaac Hull, a naval friend of Isaac Coffin (who was born in Boston USA) who had chosen a different naval career path with the US Navy and who had a highly successful career including commanding Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution. Despite being on opposing sides they remained good friends and there are numerous references to exchanges of gifts between them such as antique maps and even a renowned Maine lobster from Isaac Hull weighing 75 lbs (!!!) which Coffin gave to Sir Joseph Banks. The scraps of paper sadly no longer exist or perhaps they do with the thief who also took a Manton pistol as well as a valuable collection of models and other papers in the same room.
Also sadly, over the years, the internet sources for these letters and gift descriptions have fallen by the wayside with valuable websites disappearing but some do remain and I am sure that further current research may even reveal more information about this 1815 gift. Some links are provided below including a fascinating biography of Coffin.
The Bess is a typical Pattern 1793 Flintlock Brown Bess Musket (India Pattern Type 1) pre 1809 with a 39" barrel of .75" bore stamped with Kings and Ordnance proofs. Regulation lock engraved TOWER to tail with Crown over GR and Ordnance inspectors mark of crown over arrow. Pre 1809 swan neck cock. Correct and original regulation brass furniture including the damaged buttplate which is enagraved on the tang with the inscription, "PRESENTED BY ADMIRAL SIR ISAAC COFFIN ANNO DOM 1815". Original ramrod with crown inspectors mark. Original stock in very good condition except for compression damage where buttplate is damaged. Pleasing overall patina. Complete with Bayonet with 4" socket, 21 7/8” overall which has Inspectors mark of a crown over 4 plus other numbers on the socket of 5 over 14 and 11 over 29. Overall length 55". With bayonet affixed 71 3/4"
Ref: Isaac Hull https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Hull
Ref: Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin RN https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Isaac_Coffin,_1st_Baronet
Archive book bio of Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin - https://archive.org/details/lifeadmiralsiris00amor
A RARE HISTORIC SCOTTISH LOBE BUTT PISTOL BY STUART CIRCA 1780
This unique pistol is a Scottish Lobe Butt Flintlock Pistol circa 1770-1785 by Stuart of St Kitts. Solid brass frame and stock with three silver inset bands to underside, silver buttcap and silver button trigger. Large vacant oval silver escutcheon inset in stock. 20 bore 8"smooth bore barrel. Scroll engraved and decorated throughout in the typical style of the period, most notably the makers based in Doune. Original ramrod. Brass belt hook. Lockplate signed STUART ST KITTS. 13.25" overall length.
The engraving on the lockplate with the tail on the 'R' is identical to the few remaining pistols and long arms of Stuart of Inverness, however, this Stuart of St Kitts
is previously unrecorded. Kelvin (The Scottish Pistol) mentions a John Stuart several times including one who worked at Doune and an earlier Stuart in an unknown location on the East Coast. Stuart of St Kitts may well have been related to either of these but the Hammermen records do not show any kin which would help identify the Stuart of St Kitts during the period that this pistol was made.
Please see my own research notes below for an explanation of this previously unrecorded gunmaker. A visit to St Kitts and help from the St Kitts archivist in their National Archives identified a John James Stuart living on the island in 1782 as he married a local woman at that time. With a small population, it is highly likely that this John James Stuart is our man as the pistol style is 1770-1785 and there is good reason for a Scottish Gunmaker to be on St Kitts at that time with the garrison at Brimstone Hill Fort being the 1st Royal Scots and the importance of St Kitts to the British. The French Seige of Brimstone Hill in 1782 is a case in point.
Further research may reveal more about John James Stuart but in the meantime, this historically important pistol is our only link to what I believe is the only Scottish pistol in existence that bears a Scottish makers name with a location outside of the mainland UK.
Please see these links for background history.
It is highly likely that the John James Stuart found in the St Kitts archives is the gunmaker. His marriage bond dated 22nd March 1782 was less than six weeks after the French succeeded in taking Fort Brimstone. It is an important identification document that ties him to the island at that time (photo of bond below).
Please note who is the beneficiary of the £500 bond - a certain Arthur Count Dillon who was installed by the French as the Islands Governor for the period 12 February 1782 to 3rd September 1783 when it was handed back to the British.
The origin of John James Stuart may have been from the Inverness family of Stuart gunmakers (see Claude Blair https://electricscotland.com/history/scotreg/scottishfirearms.pdf ). Electric Scotland also has good articles on the Fraser Clan connection with the Stuarts of Inverness. With the Stuarts of Inverness being closely linked with the Fraser Clan it is worth noting that Fort Brimstone in 1782 was commanded by Brigadier General Thomas Fraser, indeed such a pistol may have even been made for him as a high ranking officers pistol. The 1st Royal Scots regiment was also here fighting the French in 1782 so another avenue of research to follow although they would have been equipped with highland regiment pistols of the type made by Bissell of Birmingham (except for private arms purchases).
The Jacobite cause is another link.
Arthur Count Dillon was an English born aristocrat who inherited leadership of a French Army regiment and remained in the regiment and as a result fought against the English in the Seige of Brimstone Hill. Dillon was installed by the French as a very able Governor and even though resupply to the French garrison was difficult due to the Royal Navy, John James Stuart appears happy enough to stay on the island and to pay the bond to the new French Governor Dillon very early into his administration. This could be because Stuart was a Jacobite and so was Dillon. In fact Dillon's regiment was the Irish Brigade of the French Army, the famous Wild Geese, who wore red coats like the British as fealty to the Gaelic House of Stuart and to that family's claim to the English and Scottish Thrones.
To pay a marriage bond of 500 pounds meant that Stuart had some wealth yet he is not mentioned in any records of Scottish Merchants or Plantation owners in the West Indies probably due to the fact that no one knew of a Gunmaker in St Kitts until now. He obviously survived the siege and probably prospered. If he had been a soldier, John James Stuart would have a rank attached to his name on the marriage bond.
Further research such as his wife/ancestry (Ann Delron named on the marriage bond) may reveal more history.
AN ORIGINAL US CIVIL WAR PERIOD US MARKED MODEL 1855 MAINSPRING VICE/VISE
An excellent original example of a US marked Model 1855 Springfield Musket and Trapdoor Mainspring Vice (or Vise as they say in the USA!). The vice was made for the 1855 Model Springfield but remained in use for the US Models of 1861 and the 1861 Special Model Rifle Musket plus the US Rifle Musket Models of 1863 and 1864 including most Allin conversions and the first 1873 Trapdoor Rifle.
This rare vice variant has the US marking, hence was probably made at the Harpers Ferry Arsenal.
Overall height approximately 3" extended with arm width 2.35".
FRENCH MODEL 1822 PERCUSSION SERVICE PISTOL MADE AT THE MANUFACTURE ROYALE DE MUTZIG
This 1822 Percussion Service Pistol was a conversion from flintlock to percussion by the Mutzig factory in the French town of Mutzig, located in the Château des Rohan (The Castle of Rohan). This 13th century castle became a small arms factory after the French Revolution. In 1799, it was bought by the arms manufacturers, brothers Coulaux of Klingenthal, Bas-Rhin, who, on April 20 1801, opened their weapons factory within its walls. The .69 musket bore barrel is 7.9" long with various markings. Lock is marked 'Mre. Rle. de Mutzig'. With regulation brass mounts with inspectors marks.There are numerous stamps on the left side including MUTZIG and inventory number 1125 which is replicated on the buttstrap and barrel. Overall length 14.5".
Untouched condition. Cleaning will reveal more markings. Stock is good with handling marks but no repairs or splits. Cup top ramrod is missing but replacements are not hard to find.
EARLIEST NUMBERED WESTLEY RICHARDS PERCUSSION TRAVELLING PISTOL
Rare earliest recorded (numbered 3 to underside of barrel and breech) 26 Bore Percussion Travelling Pistol by Westley Richards, 5" octagonal original brown damascus barrel signed WESTLEY RICHARDS 170 NEW BOND ST LONDON, (slightly worn), foliate engraved breech block with platinum vent, bead front sight, underside of barrel with Birmingham Proofs and numbered 3 to barrel and breech. Rear sight incorporated in foliate engraved tang with engraved screw.
Signed lock, fitted with sliding safety catch and decorated with scrolling foliage, the original cock decorated to match. Finely figured Walnut full stock with crisp chequered wrist and silver barrel bolt escutcheon. Silver escutcheon to wrist with owners crest (see photos). Engraved steel trigger guard, decorated with scrolling foliage on the bow, engraved ramrod pipe. Fitted with captive ramrod. 10.25" overall length.
This is the earliest numbered pistol of its type. Excellent condition and patina.
William Westley Richards: Gunmaker, Birmingham from 1812. Retail shop (with William Bishop as agent) 170 New Bond Street.,1826-72; 25 Lawrence Pountney Street., 1853-5. Gunmaker to Prince Albert. Died 1865. Firm then run by son, Westley Richards. Howard L. Blackmore (1986) Gunmakers Of London , 1350-1850. George Shumway Publisher. USA
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