Premier Collection Page - Pair of double Barrelled Flintlocks by Nock marked to Officer 15th LD

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Pair of Scottish Lobe Butt Pistols by John Campbell

A Fine and Rare Pair of Scottish Flintlock Lobe Butt Pistols by John Campbell (II) of Doune

A Fine and Rare Pair of Scottish Flintlock Lobe Butt Pistols by John Campbell (II) of Doune Circa 1755-60

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.

Price:   £22,500.00 

Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing this item  - quoting reference: SKU  517D

The price includes UK delivery. No licence is required to possess this item in the UK if owned as a curio as part of a collection or display.

Scottish Ramshorn Butt Flintlock Pistol

Scottish Pistol by Mills


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.  

Price:   £4,950.00 

Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing this item  - quoting reference: SKU  518D

The price includes UK delivery. No licence is required to possess this item in the UK if owned as a curio as part of a collection or display.

Antique Ball Reservoir Air Gun by Bate, Hallmarked 1775

Bate Air Gun

A Fine 100-Bore 'Flintlock' Sporting Air Gun by Edward Bate, London, Circa 1775

Fine and Rare Silver Mounted 18th Century Ball Reservoir Lightweight "Flintlock" Air Gun with Skeleton Stock by Edward Bate of London (1743-1810). With hallmarked silver mounts of  "IK",  John King, London silversmith with date letter of 1775. Hexagonal to round blued barrel with much original blue remaining, hexagonal for first 12" with crisp edges, overall barrel length 24.25" of 100 bore with notched rear sight and silver bead front sight (top of bead missing). BATE LONDON inlaid in silver on top flat of barrel with silver inlaid flowers/foliage to breech and foliage engraved tang. Barrel retained by two iron barrel bolts - forward one missing. Horn tipped ramrod. Original brass/copper ball reservoir (with age patina and some dents) screws into barrel under leading edge of lockplate.

The stepped lockplate is signed "BATE" with elaborate engraved scrollwork that incorporates a gun buttstock and hound below the pan and a caduceus and orb at the tail, the orb possibly representing a globe with lines of latitude and longitude. Flintlock mechanism with strong traces of original colour to lockplate, frizzen and frizzen spring  in very fine condition. Silver furniture comprises finely engraved hallmarked triggerguard incorporating housing for ball reservoir, silver lattice hallmarked buttplate,  silver rosette side nail cups, front and rear ramrod pipes and a silver escutcheon on shoulder of stock with intertwining rop border around the escutcheon. The silver furniture with mainly floral engraving, scrolls and decorative borders. Finely figured Walnut stock has a skeleton butt with engraved pierced lattice buttplate and a raised carved rococo shell and scroll pattern at the apron/tang that is similar to those seen on other Bate air guns. Stock has had minimal repairs and is in excellent restored condition.

The Flintlock mechanism is used to discharge the weapon once the ball reservoir is pumped with sufficient air pressure which, from experience, needs to be pumped up to 2,000 times to enable around a dozen shots without re-pressurizing. An amazingly engineered air gun for its time. All air guns by Bate are rare - silver mounted air guns by Bate are extremely rare and this beautiful lightweight example is amongst the best.

Edward Bate (1743-1810) was a quality gunmaker active in  Brownlow Street, Long Acre, London for the period 1763-1778,  Contractor to the Ordnance 1779--83. He is noted for his fine airguns  including some with similar distinctive skeleton stocks. One such gun by Bate but with iron mounts was previously in the W. Keith Neal Collection - see below.

For similar skeleton stocked example of Bate's Air Guns see:

Christies London, Sale 8934 - FINE ANTIQUE FIREARMS FROM THE W. KEITH NEAL COLLECTION, 9 November 2000, Lot  23 -  A Fine 44-Bore 'Flintlock' Sporting Air Gun by Edward Bate, London circa 1775. (some damages and repairs including barrel bolt missing, top jaw and screw replaced - all iron mounts).  Price realised: £8,225.

For a non skeleton stocked example, again with iron mounts and some damages including stock bruising, fore end chipped and cracked -  Christies London, Sale 6542,  FINE ANTIQUE FIREARMS FROM THE W KEITH NEAL COLLECTION, 25 October 2001, Lot 26 - A 120-Bore 'Flintlock' Sporting Air Rifle by Edward Bate London Circa 1770. Price realised: £5,640.

Price:   £7,950.00 

Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing this item  - quoting reference: SKU  512D

The price includes UK delivery. No licence is required to possess this item in the UK if owned as a curio as part of a collection or display.

Ex Museum Large Bore Tranter Revolving Rifle

Tranter Revolving Rifle



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', an original Eley Bag of percussion caps, a James Dixon & Son marked circular percussion capper, a brass topped glass oil bottle, 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.

Price:   £13,500.00

Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing this item  - quoting reference: SKU  513D

The price includes UK delivery. No licence is required to possess this item in the UK if owned as a curio as part of a collection or display.

Percussion Big Game Rifle by James Purdey, London



A Fine and Rare Big Game /Dangerous Game Rifle by J Purdey of London. Damascus twist octagonal 29" barrel, 16 bore with 10 groove rifling, the top flat signed 'J. PURDEY, 314 1/2 OXFORD STREET LONDON', dove tail fore-sight, standing notch rear sight marked for 100 yards with two additional folding leaf sights marked for 150 and 200 yards. London proofs under the barrel with serial number and initials of 'JP'. Breech block with twin platinum lines and plug. Tang finely engraved with Leopards Face and scrolls. Borderline and scroll engraved bar action percussion lock, lockplate signed 'PURDEY' alongside a finely engraved seated Stag. Original hammer with matching engraving. Sliding safety. Chequered beautifully figured Walnut stock with chequering and raised cheek piece and horn fore end. All iron furniture with finely engraved spurred triggerguard, engraved barrel key, buttplate and ramrod pipe. Original horn mounted ramrod with brass rammer. The serial number of 2056 is stamped on the underside of the barrel, the barrel breech hook and the inside of the lock.  In a J. Purdey case with correct original Purdey Label and some accessories including a nickel silver and leather James Dixon & Sons Quickloading Fireproof powder flask, two piece cleaning rod with two screw on attachments, leather wallet/pouch containing spare nipple as well as two piece combination turnscrew/pricker/nipple key, percussion capper marked SYKES, ebony box for further caps and some old wads. Brass lift ring to case lid with centre escutcheon, front inset hooks, original lock and keep.

In overall refinished condition with excellent stock, case hardened colouring to the buttplate, re-browned barrel with re-signed signature. Front dovetail sight exists but is slightly damaged. Rifled bore is excellent. Lock mechanism is a work of art with superb condition internals. Case has been partly and expertly re-lined retaining original label. Powder flask is excellent with working mechanism, original spring and no seam separation. Case condition is also excellent with very minor damage to label.

Purdey records indicate a manufacture date of 1833 for serial number 2056 so this rifle is 186 years old!

Founded in 1814 and still in existence today, James Purdey has always been synonymous with quality and this cased rifle is no exception. A fine early large bore Purdey in excellent condition. 

Price:   £11,950.00 

Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing this item  - quoting reference: SKU  515H

The price includes UK delivery. No licence is required to possess this item in the UK if owned as a curio as part of a collection or display.

Presentation Beaumont Adams Revolver by James Purdey

James Purdey Revolver

A Fine Presentation Cased 120 Bore Beaumont Adams Revolver retailed by James Purdey of London

A Presentation Cased 120-Bore Beaumont-Adams Patent Five-Shot Double-Action Percussion Revolver. Retailed By James Purdey, 314 1/2 Oxford Street, London. Adams Patent No. 35,817R. Blued octagonal 4.25" sighted barrel with strong London Proof marks and manufacturers mark L.A.C. of the London Armoury Company, action is sound and accurate to all cylinder chambers. The rifled bore is very good. Blued border engraved top-strap with retailer's name and address "JA.S, PURDEY, No. 314 1/2 OXFORD ST.T, LONDON". Blued cylinder with London Proof marks and matching serial number, blued border engraved frame, trigger-guard and butt-cap with hinged compartment, blued rammer, safety-strap, arbor-pin and catch, fine chequered figured rounded butt with silver escutcheon. The whole revolver finely scroll and border line engraved retaining most of its original finish. In its presentation lined and fitted oak case of the highest quality with accessories, a SYKES pistol flask with split ring for suspension, pewter oil bottle, cap box, captive worm ramrod, turnscrew and 120 bore mould. The mould may be a replacement but fits well, the Sykes flask is correct size but may have replaced a Dixon flask, the cap box also a good fitting replacement.

The superb flamed Oak case is lined in dark red baize with brass external corners and inset front hooks. The full Coat of Arms of the original owner, Joseph Jones of Abberley, Co.Worcs  is superbly engraved to a central rectangular brass plate inset on the case lid. Research (Burke's General Armory description) reveals the original owner as Joseph JONES (Abberley, co Worcester). The Coat of Arms in Heraldic Terms - Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az.on a cross raguly ar. betw. in the 1st and 4th quarters a pheon, and in the 2nd and 3rd across moline or, five mullets. gu., for JONES: 2nd and 3rd, sa. three bars ar., for LEES. Crest - A stag lodged and reguard.ppr. semee of acorns vert, in the mouth a fern branch also ppr. Motto - Deo Adjuvante.

The Motto on the Coat of Arms, DEO ADJUVANTE means "With God Assisting", a motto shared only with Viscount Exmouth which refers to an action of 1st Viscount in 1814 in saving troops and a crew from the transport ‘Dutton’ off Plymouth.

Joseph Jones was a very wealthy Cotton Magnate who previously lived at Spring Bank, Severn Stoke, Worcs. He made his fortune in Oldham where, along with the LEES family (who are included on the coat of arms due to marriage) he was largely responsible for making Oldham the world's manufacturing centre for cotton spinning in the second half of the 19th century. In 1867 he moved to Abberley Hall, an imposing grand house set in 90 acres which is now a school. The building dates from the mid 19th-century, it is Italianate style and was designed by Dawkes, for Joseph Jones. Joseph Jones's cousin John inherited the estate and built an amazing Gothic clock tower in 1883 between Abberley and the Woodbury Hills which can still be seen today from six counties. The same coat of arms appears above the door to the tower.  Interestingly for us down in Cornwall, the  Abberley Clock Tower, also known as Jones's Folly, was designed and built by James Piers St Aubyn who is probably best known for his restoration of St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall which perhaps compensated in a small degree for missing out, by a single vote, on the commission to build Truro Cathedral.

Price:   £5,250.00 

Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing this item  - quoting reference: SKU  516D

The price includes UK delivery. No licence is required to possess this item in the UK if owned as a curio as part of a collection or display.