c1770s ENGRAVED Antique HARRISON of LONDON Queen Anne FLINTLOCK Pistol .45
With Cast SILVER POMMEL Cap and INLAYS
Here we present an antique Queen Anne Flintlock Pistol Harrison of London, made circa 1772. It features a single .45 caliber smooth bore. This one has a turn-off barrel for loading without a rammer. The grip is solid walnut and finished smooth.
This pistol is quite beautiful with its engraving, inlays, and cast and engraved silver pommel with a lion coming over a stone rampart and throwing down cannon. The pommel is hallmarked with an anchor—for Birmingham, a lion passant guardant—for .925 fineness, and what appears to be a letter “R”—dating this piece to 1772. London proofs (c1740-1813) are on the bottom of the barrels. The name “Harrison” is signed beside them—perhaps William Harrison. The barrel and frame are both marked “1” and it does unthread for loading. Loading the breech directly, as opposed to loading via the muzzle, allows the shooter to use a larger ball for better gas seal and is therefore more efficient. The top of the barrel and the barre tang are finely engraved. The left side of the finely grained stock bears a delicate floral inlay of silver. Not many pistols have been so finely decorated as this one.
In addition, this pistol has a small but interesting technological feature that sets it apart from its contemporaries. The trigger guard slides back and forth, which turns out to be a safety of sorts. If the trigger guard is pushed rearwards, the cock will go to the safety notch and stay there for loading. Once the trigger guard is moved forwards the cock can travel to the fully-cocked position and it will fire when the trigger is pulled.
This little flintlock pistol would have been used primarily as a self-defense weapon. Their effective range was short, and they were frequently used as an adjunct to a sword. Pistols in this era were usually smoothbore. They came in a variety of sizes with the smallest being less than 6 inches and the largest ranging to over 20 inches. The smallest would fit into a typical pocket or a hand warming muff and could easily be carried by women. These type of self defense pistols were commonly carried in the busy streets of London or perhaps even the colonies during this very tumultuous time.
The overall condition is fine. The action is excellent. The bore is smooth and in good condition. The stock is in fine shape with some evidence of use. The back of the swan neck cock has a very small, stable crack. This is a very expertly crafted English sidearm from the period of the American Revolutionary War.
This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 3-5/8 inches.
Caliber: .45 Flintlock
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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