A Wonderful PAIR of French & Indian War - American Revolutionary War Period British Military Heavy Dragoon Style Merchant Marine, Militia or Volunteer Regiment Flintlock Pistol, R WATKIN, LONDON
A Wonderful PAIR of Antique French & Indian War - American Revolutionary War Period British Military Heavy Dragoon Style Merchant Marine, Militia or Volunteer Regiment Flintlock Holster/Belt Pistols by; "R WATKIN", LONDON, c. 1730-1760. 12.25", .68 cal. round steel barrel with (2) London private proofs and a small "CROWN" over "RW" (the barrel makers mark for R WATKIN). The pistols are in their original flintlock configuration. The locks are maker signed "R WATKIN". One frizzen spring finial is missing. Brass furniture almost identical to the British military pattern 1730/1738 Land Service Pistol (excluding the butt cap). The pistols retain their original steel belt hooks. The stocks are solid with minor stress cracks, small areas of wood loss, scratches and dings from years of handling and service (see photos and notes). Wood ramrods with brass tips (one may be the original). All steel surfaces exhibit salt & pepper rust pitting (some areas worse than others), see photos. 19.5" overall length. A great looking pair of holster/belt pistols in good mechanical working order.
Note: There are varying opinions on exactly when these pistols were produced and for what purpose. The following is my opinion. The overall form reflects all the traits of being made for military purposes. I concur with Robert Brooker that these pistols were made for Militia/Volunteer units or for the Merchant Marine. It is very possible that the maker R Watkin produced these pistols in hopes of a formal contract/purchase from the ordnance that never materialized. There were many makers that made arms remarkably like the ordnance approved military patterns to supply all the other needs outside the primary military and these pistols may be some of them.
Ref. p. 80. British Military Pistols and Associated Edged Weapons 1603-1887. By, Robert Brooker, c. 2016.