A rare iron barrel brass mounted blunderbuss circa 1775 by Francis Innes of Edinburgh. Octagonal 16 1/2in. iron barrel with flared round trumpet muzzle banded at the intersection, some pitting to top flat. Makers address to top flat of barrel - indistinct due to pitting but clearly name or address followed by EDINBURGH with proof marks and barrel makers stamp to breech. Flat lockplate with stepped pointed tail signed within banner 'F. INNES', plain frizzen, swan neck cock, some pitting but all original. Walnut handrail full-stock with exposed muzzle, some old well executed spliced/inset repairs to stock. Brass furniture including rococo escutcheon to wrist, pierced sideplate shaped with flowers (complete with no losses), acorn finial, flower engraved trigger guard, ramrod pipe and interesting buttplate with bird engraving (wings displayed) above top screw, brass tipped ebony ramrod. Bird engraving to buttplate may be decorative or with further research may reveal owner if unique.
Innes, Francis [1772-1789] (Scottish Arms Makers by Whitelaw)
Shop in Edinburgh, Scotland. Had Royal Warrant. Made all metal flintlock pistols with scroll butt and cased flintlock duelling pistols, also made single and double barrel flintlock fowling pieces and Ferguson flintlock breech-loading rifles. Had Royal Government contract for flintlock holster pistols and flintlock muskets.(A. Merwyn Carey (1954) English, Irish and Scottish Firearms Makers, Acro Publishing Company, New York. )
A good Georgian flintlock boxlock 50 bore pocket pistol by Twigg of London. Engraved frame with flags/arms on either side around an oval signed TWIGG and LONDON. Sliding safety, line engraved flintcock and sprung frizzen. Steel triggerguard engraved with starburst. Excellent strong action, 1.5" turn off steel barrel with proof mark. Frame with matching proof marks under. Walnut slab sided stock in excellent condition. Overall length 6.5".
This pistol is unusual and interesting as it is the 1853 EIC Pattern Percussion Cavalry Pistol but fitted with an ENFIELD marked lock dated 1844. This may have been an experimental fitting as the lock is marked with the Crown over V.R. to the rear of the lock similar to the subsequent Enfield pistol pattern 1856 lock as opposed to the 1844 Enfield lock fitted to the 1844 Cavalry Carbine which had the Crown over VR marking under the bolster, thus probably eliminating a retrofitted Enfield lock to this particular pistol. Apart from the lock, this is a typical EIC 1853 Pattern .65 pistol with 9” barrel stamped with London proofs. Brass mounted full walnut stock, lanyard ring to butt and swivel rammer hinged to muzzle. Sidecups for lock screws as opposed to the sideplate of earlier models.
As the Pattern 1853 was an upgrade of the earlier Pattern 1840 with the New Series lock, the fitting of an 1844 Enfield lock with these markings is unusual to say the least. An interesting pistol worthy of further research, condition is uncleaned and original.
With octagonal browned (original) damascus twist barrel 23.5" long signed in full by the retailer and rifled with five grooves, the barrel and rifling in near mint original condition. Blued bead fore-sight and standing notch rear sight marked for 50 yards with two additional folding leaf sights marked for 100 and 150 yards, sling eye beneath barrel. Bright 5 shot cylinder numbered 17712T with decorative roped band at the front edge, border line engraving to rear of cylinder and clear Birmingham Proof marks. Case-hardened border engraved frame with nipple-shield fitted to the left side, blued (traces remaining) border engraved hammer-shroud, button style arbor pin/latch with safety stop/cylinder safety-stop, 3rd Model Tranter patent rammer marked W TRANTERS PATENT. Small initials on frame behind rammer of 'HH''. Frame marked on right side W.
TRANTERS. PATENT. No. 17712T. Very nicely figured Walnut stock in near mint condition with crisp chequering and sling eye fitted. Trigger-guard with scrolled front edge, typical Tranter double trigger mechanism, border engraved butt-plate. Retaining traces of original finish throughout with pleasing patina and with strong barrel browning. The rifle style trigger guard was designed so both hands could be kept behind cylinder - the hammer shroud to protect user from fragments of percussion cap - both these features designed to minimise the risk of injury from shards of lead or a multiple discharge.
In original fitted mahogany case lined in green baize (original with no apparent repairs) with many accessories including a spare matching numbered cylinder, brass double-cavity bullet mould marked 32, cleaning rod with captive worm, a DIXON & SON PATENT rifle flask (a few very minor dents), a Japanned tin of Tranter 'Lubricating Composition' and one of 'Lubricating Bullets', an original Eley Bag of percussion caps, a James Dixon & Son marked circular percussion capper, a James Dixon & Sons glass oil bottle in container, a pewter grease bottle, turnscrew, nipple wrench, bone box with spare nipples, some cast bullets, a leather sling and a key for the case lock. The lid of the case with Alexander Thomson & Son original trade label, the exterior with flush-fitting brass carrying-handle and centre escutcheon, inset front fastening hooks and circular brass key escutcheon. Case has a crack to the lid but structurally sound - see photographs. Overall length of case is 43.75".
Provenance: Ex Happy Valley Museum, Cooma (Snowy River), Australia - Neville Locker collection. These revolving rifles found favour in Australia where the English Tranter were preferred to the American Colt. It is estimated that around 70% of production of Colt and Adams revolving rifles were exported to Australia so it is not unreasonable to assume that the same percentage of Tranter revolving rifles were also exported there.
The retailer Alexander Thomson established his business in 1820 and in 1828 he was appointed 'Gunmaker to his Majesty' (King George IV). In 1833 he moved to 16 Union Place where he remained until 1869. From 1863-1869 the firm became Alexander Thomson & Son. (W Keith Neal - British Gunmakers, Their Trade Cards, Cases and Equipment 1760-1860)
NOTES: Tranter was a prolific, innovative, quality gunmaker and a substantial property owner, a founder/shareholder in BSA (Birmingham Small Arms Co. Ltd.- a Director in its early years) and a prominent member of the Birmingham small arms trade. Although there is no definitive list of years of manufacture for particular serial numbers, The Firearms Tecnology Museum website records a Tranter serial number 6820T with a receipt for 1863 and a Tranter 19882T presented in 1865 so it is not unreasonable to conclude that 17712T was 1864. The "T" suffix began circa 1854. This suffix is not normally found on 1st model revolvers. 3rd and 4th models started approx 7000T. It was normal practice to describe the diameter of the bore in bore size rather than calibre back in the day. The bore size being the number of round lead balls of that diameter needed to weigh one pound. The most common ones used by Tranter were 120 bore (.320"), 80 bore (.380"), 54 bore (.442"), 38 bore (.500") and 24 bore (.577"). This 32 bore example is a very rare variant with only a few examples known.
This is a snapshot from the Tranter Database at The Firearms Technology Museum, an excellent reference source showing this rare cased 3rd Model 5 shot large bore (32B) Revolving Rifle;
Serial No. 17712T Model 3rd model Type p rif
Calibre 32 B No of shots 5 Barrel length 23.5"
Retailed by Thomson., Alex. & Son. 16 Union Place. Edinburgh
Mould numbered 32 (bore size). engraved on cylinder & spare cylinder; Spring loaded knob arbor
retainer; Frame type "A"; Borderline engraved; Blued.
Provenance: This item also illustrated and described in the definitive book “The Firearms of William Tranter - Birmingham Gunsmith" by Ron Stewart,
two illustrations page 85, description page 86, colour illustrations and description pages 228, 229.
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 large flintlock heavy dragoon horse pistol 15 bore/.675", 13" octagonal to round with top flat and long brass bead fore sight. Integral tang with inspectors marking and grooved rear sight. No marks visible on barrel - underneath barrel not removed/inspected. Barrel has been converted to percussion in period but would be an easy reconversion to flint. Lock is missing - lockplate recess is 5.5" long by 1" height. Ramrod is missing. All iron furniture consisting of heavy ridged long eared butt cap, military type sideplate, ramrod pipe, trigger guard and trigger assembly present. Walnut stock is largely complete with some losses, feint 1771 marking under the stock and other markings which may be regimental. Carved raised comb around tang.
Overall length 20.5”. Whilst marked 1771, this pistol may well be earlier. Highly probable that it was used in the American Revolution. An impressive pistol.
An elegant and highly desirable pair of Scottish Doune Flintlock pistols with four stage 25 bore barrels with fluted breech section, round centre sections with superbly executed and profusely engraved foliage, octagonal engraved muzzle section with flared muzzles. Original ramrods. Locks of typical form with a sear extending through the lock plate which holds the cock in the half cock position, deep scroll engraving to rear of lockplates, wavy line edges, swan neck cocks with matching engraving, sprung frizzen with shaped finial to frizzen spring. Typical John Campbell signature engraved in script on the lockplate. Stock profusely engraved with a combination of scrolls, parallel lines and waves, acanthus leaves and chevrons with three transverse bands of engraved silver inlay under the stock. Hollow ball trigger with engraved silver petals overlay. Belt hook with typical Celtic pierced double lyre shape which can also be seen on best basket hilted swords of the period.
Lobe butts with silver rondel centre, concentric engraved and silver inlaid circles around the centre with five triangular panels radiating outwards with five silver rondels between. Five triangular panels are an unusual feature as four is the number normally seen on lobe butt pistols. All engraving is crisp and original.
The maker of this rare pair of elegant silver inlaid Scottish pistols is one of the best, John Campbell (II) of Doune. The engraving is typical John Campbell (II) of the period and overlaps the period style of his scroll (Ramshorn) butt pistols. John Campbell (II) of Doune, 1736-1807, was the son of Alexander Campbell of Doune who in his time was also one of the most prestigious of all the Doune Gunmakers.
In an extensive survey of Scottish Pistols by Martin Kelvin recorded in the 'The Scottish Pistol', he noted a total of 760 pistols including 164 pairs of pistols of all styles with 62.4% being Ramshorn Butt and only 13.7% Lobe Butt.
This is an early pair of the Lobe Butt style of Scottish Pistols which date from the 1740's onwards, first evidence of their type being in sketches known as 'The Penicuik Drawings', which depict both Jacobite and Hanoverian troops wearing this type in their belts in the 1745 rebellion. This particular pair of pistols were purchased by the current owner from the USA around 20 years ago where they were said to have connections with a Scottish regiment that served in the American Revolution.
Overall length 12.25" with 7.25" barrels. Fine original overall condition in crisp working order.
A very good example of a military sampler of the South Staffordshire Regimental Colours with embroidered silks, gold wire and appliqué work. This particular sampler was executed by a skilled hand and shows well above average standard of workmanship. Slight fading but still bright and in good condition with no rips or tears. Framed and glazed. Frame requires minor work.
Circa 1902 after the regiment returned from the Second Boer war. Overall size including frame, 27" x 24".
The South Staffordshire Regiment was created in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot and the 80th (Staffordshire Volunteers) Regiment of Foot. Sent to Egypt in 1882. Involved in defeating the Arab forces at Kirbekan. Regiment saw service also in First and Second Boer War.
A fine Tranter Patent 80 bore double bullet mould. Very good condition marked 'TRANTER'S PATENT' on side and '80' on blued sprue cutter which retains majority of its original finish. Excellent for a cased set. Rare. 19.5cm / 7.6" overall.
An interesting 19th Century Scottish Horn Powder Flask used for priming the pan or alternatively a snuff flask/mull of flattened horn form - take your pick! Purchased in Edinburgh by myself 25 years ago and was then described as a priming flask. It certainly makes a sensible priming flask due to the shape of the nickel silver charger which rotates to pick up a set amount of powder and then held over the pan. The brass hinged bottom cover is bone or horn. Nice quality, well made, 4" in length and very tactile!
This is a Marlin No. 32 (.32 calibre) Standard 1875 single action 5 shot pocket tip-up revolver, serial number 9372 (matching cylinder) made between 1875–1887. Length overall 7.25 inches with a round rifled 3 inch barrel and a raised sighting rib stamped ‘No. 32 Standard 1875’. Left side of barrel stamped “J.M. Marlin, New Haven, CT. U.S.A. Pat. July.1.1873". Hinge up barrel (press ‘button’ and pull upwards) with fixed ejector arbour below. Frame retains 95% original nickel plating with excellent grips retaining 95% original varnish. Mechanically excellent. Complete in its original blue velvet lined ebony banded mahogany case with lidded compartment, suppliers original trade label and key. Case and lining in fine condition. Rare to find a cased example, these small tip-up revolvers have become increasingly collectable in this condition. Comes complete with a Flayderman 1972 reprint of the original period catalogue for the retailer which contains a wealth of information.
The suppliers label is Shuyler, Hartley and Graham of 19 Maiden Lane and 22 John Street, New York. Marcellus Hartley founded the company in 1860 and through a series of acquisitions quickly became one of the largest sporting goods/arms companies in the world. By the time of the Civil War they were the largest in the USA. In 1867, two years after the Civil War ended, Shuyler Hartley and Graham purchased two small New England cartridge companies and amalgamated them at a new Connecticut site calling the company the Union Metallic Cartridge Co., now world famous for their many innovations. In March 1888, Marcellus Hartley required E. Remington and Sons and re-organised it, renaming the new company the Remington Arms company.
However there was a secret side to Marcellus Hartley as he was employed on detachment to England directly by the War Department in Washington as a U.S. government agent during the Civil War using his company as a front for direct U.S. government purchases of highly regarded English Enfield rifles and other European weapons. With a drastic shortage of weapons during the Civil War, deposits were made directly from the U.S. Treasury to Hartley’s company account at Barings Bank in London. His involvement with the Union was so sensitive and secret that it sometimes caused complications. On one occasion Hartley was outbid at the last minute on a contract for over 100,000 No. 2 Enfields, being outbid by Naylor & Vickers of London & Sheffield, the English arm of Naylor & Co. of New York. Naylor was retained by P.H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War in the U.S. War Department who must have known of Hartley’s involvement but he nevertheless supported the Naylor bid. Effectively the U.S. War Department outbid themselves for 110,140 Enfields!
On another occasion, Hartleys attempt to purchase the entire production of London Armoury Company (LAC) No. 1 best quality Enfields was foiled by the Confederate agent, Caleb Huse. Sadly, this Confederate contract led to the demise of the London Armoury Company as most of the money was paid in the form of cotton bonds (as sound as gold up to 1865) deliverable at some future date. With the downfall of the Confederacy the millions of dollars in cotton bonds became worthless and the LAC did not recover.
A very tactile bevelled edge pistol powder flask 5” long, 128mm, with fitted suspension hoops. One minor dent on one side, other side excellent. Fixed top with working spring, detachable charger. Early 19th/Late 18th century. Suit flintlock or percussion casing.
A good quality original fitted and lined Mahogany pistol case ideally for a pair of percussion pistols with max 6" barrels or small locked flintlocks. Original blue velvet lining with three lidded compartments will take the right shape of pistol with maximum 11" overall length. Mitred corners, inset front hooks, lift handle to lid, brass key escutcheon, stop hinges. No key.
Trade label to lid of COLLINS Gun & Pistol Repository of 12 Vigo Lane, Regent Street. Collins was a retailer of many quality makers both flintlock and percussion so any make of the correct shape of pistol would be appropriate including older pistols as he specialised in used items. He was in business at 12 Vigo Lane between 1825-32.
Overall size of case external 14" x 8" x 2 3/8". Internal 12.75" x 6.75" x 1 7/8".
Some older restoration to case, minor warping but very solid.
A superb quality and important campaign/travelling case in solid flame mahogany with brass corners and strapping, inset miltary style handles and patterned escutcheon engraved with owners name Major General Sir Frederick Trench K.C.H. Original Bramah lock marked Bramah, 124 Piccadilly with rare original working key. Internally refitted but with old fold down section with original makers label behind. Original green baize to underside. A famous owner of this box who was a soldier in the Grenadier Guards seeing service in Sicily, Walcheren, the Peninsula and Holland, and later as a politician and amateur architect responsible for originating the design of the London Embankment. A historic and beautiful display item. Overall dimensions 12.75" long x 9.5" wide x 6" depth. Box has been refinished at some stage but has acquired a nice mellow patina - not shiny. All original brass work present.
Major General Sir Frederick William Trench was an ambitious projector of London improvements whilst serving as a Tory MP from 1807 until 1847. He proposed a monumental pyramid to celebrate the victory at Waterloo and he designed an embankment along the north side of the Thames from Charing Cross to Blackfriars in order to relieve traffic on the Strand and create an elegant promenade along the river. The idea met with fierce opposition and was quickly dropped when presented to Parliament in 1824. It was not until 5 years after his death that construction finally began in 1864.
Sir Frederick William Trench served in Sicily in 1806-1807, at Walcheren in 1809, in the Peninsula in 1811 and in Holland in 1814.
First Regiment of Foot Guards (Grenadier Guards)
Ensign: 12 November 1803
Captain: 12 November 1807
Major: 1 August 1811
Lieut-Colonel: 25 November 1813
Colonel: 27 May 1825
Major General: 10 January 1837
Lieut General: 9 November 1846
Grenadier Guards, Assistant Quartermaster General, Aide-de camp to the King.
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