A Wonderful and Very Rare Cased Pair of English Silver Mounted Flintlock Dueling Pistols by TWIGG, LONDON
Revolutionary War Period
A Wonderful and Very Rare Antique Cased Pair of English Silver Mounted Flintlock Dueling Pistols by TWIGG, LONDON, circa. London Silver Hallmarks date these being made in the year 1763. The pistols were most likely cased, circa. 1780-1790's. 8.25", .62 cal. two-stage octagon-to-round steel barrels with the top flat engraved "Twigg, LONDON" and have inlaid silver spider fore-sights. Very fine decoratively engraved barrel tangs. The flat beveled steel locks have high quality sliding safety's, and engraved "Twigg". Engraved silver furniture with London Hallmarks. Both walnut stocks are solid carved in relief with a shell behind each barrel tang, flat sided butts and both have light scratches and dings from years of handling. Both barrels exhibit salt & pepper rust pitting. Both pistols are in their original flintlock configuration and are in good mechanical working order. A beautiful and important pair of pistols !
NOTE: These are the second earliest known pair of silver mounted flintlock pistols known to exist and the only ones known to be made with a sliding safety. The other known pair were the property of W. Keith Neal and were sold 20 years ago in the November 9th, 2000 CHRISTIE'S Auction, Lot. 239 (see photos). The catalog description states the following: "W. Keith Neal and D.H.L. Back, Great British Gunmakers 1740-1790, pp. 46-47, 133, plates 95-98 (one pistol only)." "This is the earliest firmly datable pair of Twigg pistols recorded (the next being two pairs each hallmarked for 1768, respectively in the Royal Armouries, Leeds (inv. nos. XII. 1663/4), and the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch at Boughton House). Their distinctive flat-butted style influenced other makers of dueling pistols, especially Robert Wogdon and John Manton."
Each pistol measures: 13.25" overall.
Accessories include: a wonderful early leather covered 3-way powder flask, bullet mold, tow, patches, lead balls, extra flints, turn screw, ram rod/cleaning rod, powder measure, pan brush, wad punch and wads.
High Quality Period English box made with early Georgian Chippendale lifting handle on the top of the lid and Measures: 16.75" X 8.75" X 3" with correct early Irish/English green baize lining. It is our opinion that these pistols are not original to the box but a fantastic marriage. Key for front lock is missing.
The Gun Maker: The Twigg family of gun makers date back to the early-mid 18th century. These pistols were made by John Fox Twigg, London. He was a gun maker Angel Ct., Charing Cross, 1755-60; 132 Strand (opposite Catherine St.), 1760-1776; Piccadilly, 1776-1790.