A Rare Pair of 22 bore Holster Pistols

Ref: 631

Price: £???

Maker: John Dafte

Date: circa 1690

With 13-inch three stage barrels, the breech section octagonal becoming 16 sided with some acanthus engraving and inscribed I DAFTE, the next sections round and inscribed I D, rectangular tangs engraved with strawberry foliage, signed rounded locks similarly engraved, moulded full stocks (some repairs), brass mounts including engraved and pierced serpentine side plates, long spurred butt caps engraved en suite, wrist escutcheons with a caricature human head, foliate engraved trigger guards and baluster ramrod pipes, original iron capped ramrods. London proof marks

Provenance: Compton Chamberlayne, Wiltshire, home of the Penruddock family; William Keith Neal; Christies 16th December 2003 lot 201 (£6,760 including premium)

Literature: W. Keith Neal and D.H.L Back, Great British Gunmakers 1540-1740, p.215, plates 74 a-e

John S. Cooper & Kenneth J. Westwood, John Dafte Gunsmith, pp46-47, plates 4 a-c. A signed limited edition presentation copy of this book is included with the pistols.

Note: John Dafte (c.1646 – 1696) was apprenticed to Henry Phipps in the Blacksmiths’ Company in 1660. He was free of the Gunmakers’ Company in 1668 and master in 1694. He supplied firearms to the Rye House conspirators in 1683.