The complete set has little evidence of use. Certain of the accessories are of later addition yet of original Manton pattern. These pistols represent the very best of the late percussion duelling weapons credited to one of the greatest gun makers of the time who, before setting up in the business himself, was the foreman to the great gunmaker John Twigg.
Each of these 43 bore pistols, as does their case, carry the crest of the Bertie family which held a number of titles including the Dukes of Ancaster and Kesteven and the Earl of Abingdon and Lindsay. Research has revealed that the initials C H B engraved on the pistols and case is possibly Charles Henry Bertie 1814-1899, a gentleman, magistrate and landholder with homes in Surrey and Lincolnshire.
The pistols are quite unique with their saw handled butts and spurred trigger guards the design of which would have been specified by the owner.
The barrels are 10″ octagonal, sighted, browned twist with bore size of .476″ and scratch rifled. They are inscribed on top flat John Manton & Son Dover Street London and carry the London proof and view marks on the bottom flat with the serial No 11166.
The platina plugged, flat bolted locks with scrolled engraving and sliding safety bars are inscribed Jn Manton & Son Patent with serial No 11166 on inside and fine set triggers.
They are half stocked with horn fore end caps and unusual rounded chequered butts with blued engraved butt caps and silver inset escutcheons engraved with the couped and crowned Saracen’s head. The spurred guards are scroll engraved and numbered. The wooden ramrods have brass concave tips for loading.
Original (inscribed in ink, with the number of the pistols on the underneath of the right hand compartment cover) mahogany case (19.5″ x 10″ x 3″). With brass escutcheon engraved with aforementioned crest and initials. Lined with green baize and original trade label.
Contained with the pistols are the following: .456 ball mould; ivory nipple box; cleaning jag & loading mallet; ‘Sykes’ three way powder flask; tin ELEY caps; mainspring clamp; pair of turnscrews split/single blade; hexagon “T” nipple key incorporating a pricker and nipple compartments; patch cutter; pewter oil bottle; case key and a quantity of balls and patches.
- Neal and Back “The Mantons” page 112 a single pistol No 11167 is recorded as being of similar style. Also plate 27 for a similar pair which belonged to Admiral Jephson. It is believed, a further pair, 16 numbers later were owned by General Albert Sidney Johnston and used by him in a duel with Sam Huston of Texas.
- For the crest see Fairbairn’s Crests, plate 28 No3.
- John A Wilkinson “The British Duelling Pistol” pages 102 & 104, similar pairs belonged to Major General Henry Oglander and Sir William Anson
- Neal and Back “British Gunmakers Their Trade Cards, Cases & Equipment” page 114 for similar pair and page 188 for trade card.
- Neal and Back “The Manton Supplement” page 28 for date of manufacture, revised in 1991 by Mr Back to the earlier date of 1836.
- DHL Back “The Mantons’ page 63, the serial No is listed along with unique features applicable to this set.