A Rare and Very Fine Cased Pair of 20-Bore Duelling Pistols
With 10 ¼ inch browned octagonal sighted swamped barrels, engraved ‘Dublin’ and stamped with County Carlow registration number along the top flat, the breeches engraved with a line of beadwork, foliate engraved case-hardened tangs incorporating back-sights, signed case-hardened border engraved flat bevelled locks engraved with a starburst and with foliage on the stepped tails, foliate engraved ‘French’ cocks, semi-rainproof pans, blued safety-catches and blued frizzen springs with rollers, highly figured half-stocks with chequered rounded butts, border engraved blued steel mounts comprising butt-caps and trigger-guards with pineapple finials and decorated with a martial trophy on the bows, blued barrel-bolts and rear ramrod-pipes, vacant silver escutcheons, horn fore-end caps, original bright steel ramrods, and in exceptional condition retaining virtually all their original finish: in earlier lined and fitted oak case with accessories including powder-flask, ball mould, cleaning rod, rare bore scrapper attachment, the exterior of the lid with brass carrying handle of Chippendale form with cast decoration. Private Birmingham proof marks.
Provenance: The key to the case has an old tag with ‘Hutchinsons pistols’ written in script.
Literature: “British Gunmakers Their Trade Cards, Cases and Equipment 1760-1860” by Neal & Back page 125 plate 466.
These are rare examples of pre-serial numbered Rigby pistols of which very few survive. They are also very early products of the William and John partnership. The serial numbering began in 1821, starting with number 5337. For more information see D.H.L. Back, Great Irish Gunmakers Messrs Rigby 1760-1869, 1992.