A Fantastic Cased Pair of English Silver Mounted Over & Under Double Barrel Tap-Action Box-Lock Flintlock Pistols by NICHOLSON, LONDON
A Fantastic Cased Pair of English Silver Mounted Over & Under Double Barrel Tap-Action Box-Lock Flintlock Pistols by NICHOLSON, LONDON, c. 1788.
The pistols have 5", .47 cal. round steel smooth bore "turn-off" barrels with engraved and "keyed" muzzles, and numbered to each chamber. The barrels unscrew from the frame by inserting the barrel key into the muzzle. The pistols have drop down triggers that are activated when the user pulls back the cock. The box-lock frames have decorative engraving on both sides depicting panoply-of-arms surrounding "NICHOLSON" on the left and the makers address "No. 45 CORN HILL, LONDON" on the right. The bottom of each frame is stamped with (2) oval "PROOF" and "VIEW" marks. Each pistol has a barrel selector lever on the left side affording the shooter a choice of the top barrel or the bottom barrel or both at the same time. Each pistol has decoratively engraved steel barrel tangs with top mounted sliding safety's. Georgian engraved sterling silver hallmarked butt caps includes vacant shield shaped wrist escutcheons. Both walnut grip stocks are solid with minimal light scratches and dings from years of handling. Both pistols are in their original flintlock configuration and are in good mechanical working order. A beautiful and rare large pair of flintlock pistols in excellent condition.
Each pistol measure: 11.5" overall length.
PROVENANCE: These pistols were featured on one of the episodes of the TV show "LORDS OF WAR" I had on National Geographic Channel in 2013.
THE STERLING SILVER HALLMARKS: "C F" (Charles Freeth, Great Charles Street, Birmingham). The "RAMPANT LION" (Quality Mark). The "KING GEORGE III" bust (London Duty). "Q" (Date Letter for the year 1788).
Accessories include: a wonderful early red leather covered 3-way powder flask, bullet mold, tow, lead balls, extra flints, turn screw, ram rod/cleaning rod, powder/shot measure, vent pick, wad punch and patches.
BOX: High Quality Period English box made with brass reinforcing bands, corners and a vacant escutcheon on the top of the lid. The box Measures: 16.25" X 8.25" X 2 6/8" with correct original early English green baize lining.
This maker was at "No. 45 CORN HILL, LONDON" from 1787-1794. Ref. p. 69, BRITISH GUNMAKERS, Their Trade Cards, Cases and Equipment, 1760-1860. By, W. Keith Neal & D.H.L. Back, c. 1980.