Cased pair of Flintlock Duelling pistols finally assembled on 15th January 1814. The outworkers involved in the manufacture were
Mr Lewis who was the “Breecher, Ribber and Screwer-together”, and Mr Dennis, the “Stocker”.
Very little history is known about these pistols which were probably numbered 919 and 920 and were made for a Mr Burt who picked them up from the makers on 22 Jan 1814. A copy of the relevant page of Wilkinson’s ‘Gun Record Book’ is available.
Much more is known about the maker James Wilkinson, however it is worth stating that James, ex Henry Nock apprentice and married to a woman Ann Jones who was probably Henry Nocks’ adopted daughter, eventually became a partner in the business, which he finally took over on the death of Nock, in 1805.
James had a son Henry, who carried on the gunmaking business and added swordmaking for which the Wilkinson Sword Company is famous today.
The barrels which are 9.5″ octagonal, sighted, browned twist with a smooth bore size of .545″ (30 bore). They are inscribed on top flat JAs WILKINSON LONDON GUN MAKER to his MAJESTY the London proof and view marks on the bottom flat. Gold and engraved bands at the breech. The outworkers involved in the manufacture were Mr Lewis who was the “Breecher, Ribber and Screwer-together”, and Mr Dennis, the “Stocker”.
The gold lined touch holes with their bolted double raised edge locks with sliding safety bars inscribed JAs WILKINSON and engraved with a sunburst, and classic French cocks, semi- waterproof pans, rollers to feather springs and set triggers make these pistols an impressive pair.
The full stocks are walnut with finely chequered heavy butts carrying engraved spurred guards, with pineapple finials and ramrod pipes. Both ramrods are horn tipped wood with ball extractors.
They are cased in their original Mahogany case, 17.5″ x 9.0″ x 2.5″) lined with blue velvet. The case has three locks, two of them sliding, which was considered so different that it was noted in the original Wilkinson sales book next to the entry attributed to these pistols, i.e.: numbers 919 & 920.
Contained with the pistols are the following: .506″ ball mould; interesting three way powder flask; cleaning rod; brass oil bottle; turnscrew; Badger hair pan brush; mainspring clamp and case key.
- Page 93 in “British Gunmakers Cards Cases and Equipment” by Neal and Back, refers to Wilkinson.
- Copy of original Wilkinson Gun Record Book held in the Wilkinson Sword Company collection and kindly copied by its curator, with entry attributed to these pistols.
- Page 68 in “Duelling Pistols & some of the Affairs they settled” by John Atkinson refers to Wilkinson.
The complete set has little evidence of use and has been well cared for. Certain of the accessories are of later addition yet of original pattern.