A Fine and Unusual Cased Pair of 34-Bore Travelling Pistols

Ref: 612

Price: £10,750

Maker: Joseph Egg

Date: circa 1815

Each pistol with browned twist 5 inch octagonal sighted barrel narrowed at the breech, silver fore-sight, tapering case-hardened patent breech signed in gold on the top flat and with platinum line, platinum touch-hole, tang incorporating the rear sight engraved with a martial trophy, border engraved case-hardened flat bevelled lock signed ‘Josh. Egg PATENT’, decorated with a starburst behind the rainproof pan set clear of the touch-hole, and with a martial trophy and foliage at the stepped tail, foliate engraved ‘French’ cock, signed border engraved steels, blued safety-catches and rollers, figured full stocks (one cracked in the ramrod-channel) with flattened finely chequered butt, border engraved blued steel mounts comprising pommel-cap decorated with foliage, trigger-guard with pineapple finial and decorated with a martial trophy on the bow, slotted ramrod-pipe, vacant silver wrist escutcheon and barrel-bolt escutcheons, original brass-tipped ramrods, one with iron worm with threaded brass cap, and much original finish: in original lined and fitted mahogany case with accessories including brass-mounted three-way powder-flask covered in red leather, turnscrew and loading rod, the interior of the lid with maker’s trade label for circa 1815-20, the exterior with circular vacant brass escutcheon centred on a flush-fitting circular brass carrying handle. Birmingham proof marks.

Christie’s London, Fine Antique Arms and Armour, 15 June 1977, lot 142
Christie’s London, Antique Arms, Armour and Militaria, 16 Jul 2003, lot 235
Jonathan Barrett, ‘Six Oddities of English Flintlock Construction’, Art, Arms and Armour (R. Held ed.), 1979-80, pp. 394-396, pls. 4-6
W. Keith Neal & D.H.L. Back, British Gunmakers Their Trade Cards, Cases and Equipment, 1980, pl. 352

The purpose of the pans set clear of the touch-holes is unclear. It has been suggested that they were intended for a secret priming powder of Joseph Egg’s own invention.