Fine & Extremely Rare Cased Pair of 40-bore Duelling Pistols

Ref: 220

Price: £35,000

Maker: Thomas Manton, 144 Long Acre, London, No. 198

Date: circa 1817

With rebrowned twist 9 ¾ inch octagonal sighted barrels, case-hardened recessed patent breeches each with rectangular platinum-lined maker’s stamp, two platinum lines and platinum-lined touch-hole, foliate engraved tangs each incorporating a rear sight, case-hardened border engraved flat locks signed ‘Thos. Manton LONG ACRE LONDON’, decorated with foliage and a starburst behind the rainproof pan, and each with engraved safety-catch and cock, and roller bearing on a ramp on the blued steel-spring, the internal working parts retaining their brightly burnished finish and stamped with locksmith’s initials of John Bradford, finely figured half-stocks serial numbered on the inside of each fore-end, rounded chequered butts, engraved blued steel mounts comprising butt-caps decorated with foliage, trigger-guards with a trophy on the bow, trigger-plates each with pineapple finial, and fore-end caps also forming the ramrod-entry, vacant silver escutcheons, original brass-tipped ramrods, and some original finish: in original fitted mahogany case lined in maroon velvet with accessories including three-way flask covered in red leather and retaining much of its original lacquered finish, turnscrew with brass pricker, and iron bullet mould with maker’s mark of William Davies, the interior of the lid with maker’s trade label for circa 1817-20, the exterior with circular flush-fitting brass carrying handle centred on a circular brass escutcheon, the barrels forged by William Fullered.

Notes: Thomas Manton was first cousin to John and Joseph Manton and he copied Joe’s style closely. Very few examples of his work survive and this is the only recorded pair of cased duellers made by him.

The underside of one of the case compartment lids is inscribed with what appears to be a coded list of prices for the ‘Pistols, Case & Apparatus’.

Literature: D.H.L. Back ‘The Mantons 1782-1878’ plates 146 and 150.