A Rare Early Pair Of 32-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols (2)

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Lot 376
A Rare Early Pair Of 32-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols
By Lewis (Louis) Barbar Of London, Circa 1700

Sold for £ 7,562 (US$ 9,447) inc. premium
A Rare Early Pair Of 32-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols
By Lewis (Louis) Barbar Of London, Circa 1700
With Italian (probably Pistoia) two-stage barrels each turned at the girdle, octagonal breeches each with rectangular gold-lined crowned ownership mark on the top flat and stamped respectively with Irish registration mark 'T-Y9633' and 'T-Y9634' beyond, border engraved tangs and signed rounded locks, cocks and steels, figured moulded full stocks (some old repairs) each carved with a foliate apron in low relief around the barrel tang, mounts comprising cast and chased foliate side-plates and escutcheons each involving a grotesque mask and retaining faint traces of gilding, border engraved iron spurred pommels each with bass moustachioed grotesque mask cap and spurs engraved with graduated beadwork, iron trigger-guards each with pointed finial and engraved with a small floret within double line borders on the bow, baluster ramrod-pipes, and original iron-capped wooden ramrod, the other replaced (2)
32.3 cm. barrels

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Field Marshall Sir Francis Wogan Festing GCB, KBE, DSO. Almost certainly acquired from his friend and fellow collector W. Keith Neal

    Literature
    W. Keith Neal and D.H.L. Back, Great British Gunmakers 1540-1740, 1984, p. 298, pls. 117a-b

    The mark on each breech may be a property mark of Prince Ferdinando Maria de' Medici (1663-1713), son of Grand Duke Cosimo III, and is found on many Tuscan barrels of this period. See Nolfo di Carpegna, 'A Summary Of Notes On Central-Italian Firearms Of The Eighteenth Century...', Art, Arms And Armour, An International Anthology, (Robert Held, Ed.), Vol. 1: 1979-80, pp. 314-353, fig. 1

    Louis 1 Barbar (d. 1741), a French Protestant, born in Essendun, Poitou, came to London circa 1688 to avoid persecution, and was naturalised in 1700. In 1704 he was made free of the Gunmakers' Company, and his proof piece ('a very fine piece') was passed. He was appointed Gentleman Armourer to King George I in 1717, and to George II in 1727

    Today the largest group of firearms by Lewis Barbar is preserved in the armoury of the Duke of Buccleuch at Boughton House. They were made to the order of John, 2nd Duke of Montagu (1709-79) who was Master General of Ordnance from 1740 to 1749. The accounts at Boughton record payments to Barbar which include '£150 for 200 Muskets', and a letter of 7 June 1718 to the 2nd Duke of Montagu from his vicar mentions that Barbar was responsible for the display of the firearms in the house at that date
Contacts
A Rare Early Pair Of 32-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols (2)
A Rare Early Pair Of 32-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols (2)
A Rare Early Pair Of 32-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols (2)
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