A fine cased pair of English percussion duelling pistols by James Purdey
Lot 445ANTIQUE
A fine cased pair of English percussion duelling pistols by James Purdey
Sold for US$ 49,725 inc. premium
Auction Details
A fine cased pair of English percussion duelling pistols by James Purdey
Lot Details
A fine cased pair of English percussion duelling pistols by James Purdey
attributed to Charles Baring-Gould of South Carolina
Serial no. 905 and 906 for 1825/26, .52 caliber smoothbore. Octagonal 9 inch brown Damascus barrels with fire-blued fore-sights. Casehardened and sighted patent breeches inlaid with platinum lines and engraved with narrow borders. Platinum-lined touch holes. Casehardened and scroll and shell-engraved tangs. Casehardened, detented and scroll-engraved locks with half-cock safeties and signed Purdey. Fire-blued triggers. Blued and engraved triggerguards, buttcaps and lower ramrod thimbles, the triggerguard bows with panoplies of arms. Silver fore-end caps, barrels wedge escutcheons and vacant wrist escutcheons. Varnished walnut half-stocks with checkered wrists. Complete with original green baize-lined mahogany, the lid with circular folding handle. Interior of lid with rare trade label for with 315 Oxford Street address. Full range of original accessories include red leather-covered three-cavity flask, starting mallet/loading lever, bullet mold serial numbered to No. 906, wad cutter, oiler and combination tool in leather pouch. One corner compartment contains original wads. The other compartment contains the cleaning jag and a note attributing original ownership to Charles Baring-Gould of South Carolina.
Condition: Excellent and showing little use. Barrels retain 97-98% brown striped finish showing light edge and muzzle wear, one with slight wear to top of barrel behind fore-sight. Breeches and locks retain virtually all partially faded casehardening. Furniture with 99% dark blue finish. Excellent wood, both stocks showing some marks and wear to varnish at counterscrews, one with hairline crack between counterscrew and breech. Case lid with scattered marks. Label with some staining. Lining with very minor wear and one slight tear from cock of upper gun. Accessories excellent, the flask retaining all the gilt and fire-blued finishes.
See Illustration

Footnotes

  • Note: Numbers 905 and 906 are listed in Appendix I and on pages 37 and 58 of The Early Purdeys by L. Patrick Unsworth, where it is noted they were made at the end of 1825 and are probably the first percussion duelling pistols made by Purdey. The author notes that the 315 Oxford Street label is quite rare and the address was changed to 314 1/2 after only a few months of tenancy.
    Charles Baring-Gould, 1774-1865, of the prominent English family, emigrated to Charleston, South Carolina and thence to Flat Rock, South Carolina, where he owned an extensive plantation.
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Lot symbols
ANTIQUE Antique - pre 1899

Handguns that fall outside the Section 5 authority will be labelled ANTIQUE.