Bonhams to sell rare 18th century pistols with solid silver barrels and locks

Antique Arms and Armour
30 Nov 2011
London, Knightsbridge

Bonhams will sell a magnificent and exceptionally rare pair of silver flintlock holster pistols. Estimated to sell for £40,000-60,000 they will be offered at Bonhams, Knightsbridge, on Wednesday 18 April 2012.

The pair are highly decorated with chased silver barrels, locks and mounts, made by one of Britain's best gunsmiths in the 18th Century, Joseph Heylin of London. The pistols bear silver hallmarks for 1768 and are part of the Norman Dixon Collection, a particularly fine collection of flintlock and percussion pistols being sold by Bonhams.

David Williams, Head of Antique Arms & Armour at Bonhams, says: "These pistols are possibly unique in having solid silver barrels and locks. They are also highly decorated, and the combination makes them very attractive to collectors in this field."

The Antique Arms and Armour market seems armour plated as Bonhams latest sale of £1.4m in November indicates. This was the best result for any Arms and Armour Sale in London during 2011 with 89 per cent of lots sold.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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