Early and Highly Unusual 42-bore Long Barrelled Pistol
With 24 inch tapering three-stage octagonal to round barrel with pronounced ring at the muzzle carrying a bead fore-sight, engraved with foliage and signed ‘H. Barne’ along the top flat, plain tang, border engraved rounded lock signed S. Wells, moulded figured full stock with raised apron around the barrel tang, iron mounts comprising flat side-plate finely pierced and engraved with scrolling foliage involving demi-figures and a monster-head, one of the figures aiming a gun, border engraved globose pommel decorated with a foliated scroll on each side and pierced for an attachable shoulder-stock, trigger-guard with rounded finial, turned and engraved ramrod-pipes, tapering iron belt-hook, and iron-capped ramrod, London proof marks.
The Barons Leigh, Stoneleigh Abbey, Warwickshire
W. Keith Neal Collection.
Literature: W. Keith Neal and D.H.L. Back, Great British Gunmakers 1540-1740, 1984, pp.116-7, pls. 28a-d
Notes: Stephen Wells was apprenticed to Harman Barne, gunmaker to Prince Rupert and King Charles II, and free of the Gunmakers’ Company in 1673. Neal and Back suggest that this pistol was incomplete at the time of Barne’s death in 1661.