An Important and Very Fine 17-Bore Highland Heart-Butted All-Metal Belt Pistol
With 12 inch multi-staged barrel octagonal at the breech and at the flared muzzle and inlaid with a vacant silver shield and engraved silver panels and loops between brass and silver lines, the rear of the breech with a raised ramp slotted for sighting, convex lock engraved with flowers and foliage and with the maker’s initials to the rear of the pan, three-quarter stock with silver inlays en suite with the barrel, brass-headed trigger and pricker each engraved with an expanded flower-head and with central diagonally fluted horizontal band, long spirally fluted brass ramrod pipe, original steel ramrod with pierced baluster tip, and long pierced and engraved belt hook inlaid with an engraved brass band and a finely pierced brass rosette retained at its centre by a brass screw.
Provenance: Richard Chapman
William Keith Neal Collection (P 624)
Exhibited: The Art of the Armourer, Victoria and Albert Museum, 19 April – 5 May 1963
The Swords and The Sorrows, Culloden Commemorative Exhibition, Culloden, 1996 – 2007
Literature: The Art of the Armourer, exhibition catalogue, cat. no. 229, p.67 (illustrated)
The Swords and The Sorrows, exhibition catalogue, cat. no. 5:14, p.69 (illustrated)
A similar pistol by the same maker (converted from snaphaunce) is in the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. It is described and illustrated in H.J. Jackson and C.E Whitelaw, European Hand Firearms …, p.93, plate V, fig.19, and was a gift from James, Duke of Hamilton, who succeeded to the title in 1698
The pair to this pistol, in less good condition, is believed to exist.
c.f. Lot number 101 in the November 2005 Bonham’s Keith Neal sale, a slightly earlier heart-butted all metal Scottish pistol which sold for £80,000 (including premium).