A Fine Pair Of 18-Bore Silver-Mounted Flintlock Holster Pistols
Lot 423*
A Fine Pair Of 18-Bore Silver-Mounted Flintlock Holster Pistols
Sold for £7,500 (US$ 12,606) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Fine Pair Of 18-Bore Silver-Mounted Flintlock Holster Pistols
By Henry Hadley, London, London Silver Hallmarks For 1757, Maker's Mark JA
With swamped brass barrels each signed 'H. Hadley London' within a long engraved loop on the top flat at the breech and engraved with a band of acanthus foliage at the rear, gold-lined touch-holes, blued grooved tangs, blued flat bevelled locks (one cock an old replacement, steels with some minor pitting) each with stepped tail and Hadley's own gold-lined stamp in the Spanish fashion, chiselled steel-springs, figured full stocks (one probably an old replacement, one fore-end split in the ramrod channel) each with apron around the barrel tang, full silver mounts finely cast and chased in relief, comprising side-plates pierced with foliage, a flower-head and a scallop shell, all centred on a shaped cartouche, vacant escutcheons en suite and each with a shell above, spurred pommels each with a grotesque mask cap within a border of linked scallop shells, trigger-guards each with finial en suite with the side-plates, turned ramrod-pipes, original silver-tipped ramrods, one with iron worm, and in 'untouched condition' (one trigger tip missing, silver with some tarnishing), London proof marks and barrelsmith's mark 'TH' (2)
22.5 cm. barrels


  • Henry Hadley is recorded in the minutes of the Gunmakers' Company in 1735, and died in 1773. He moved from the Minories to the more fashionable West End of London in 1749, where he worked for an exalted clintèle, although he was never free of the Gunmakers' Company

    He is especially noted for a series of silver-mounted pistols with Spanish-style barrels, including two pairs in the Royal Collection at Windsor (inv. nos. L 475, 494), a pair made for the Duke of Marlborough in the Royal Armouries, Leeds (inv. nos. XII. 1654/6), and another pair (the finest of the series), sold at Christies King Street on 27 March 1996, lot 316 (£166,500, the world record for any European antique firearms at the time). See Howard L. Blackmore, 'Henry Hadley, "Foreigner", and Four Pairs of his Pistols', The Connoisseur, October 1957, pp. 82-87
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  1. David Williams
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