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A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF 20-BORE SILVER-MOUNTED FLINTLOCK PISTOLS
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A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF 20-BORE SILVER-MOUNTED FLINTLOCK PISTOLS\n\nBY HENRY HADLEY, LONDON, CIRCA 1765\n\nWith two-stage barrels in the Spanish manner, each retaining their original deeply blued finish and with gold spider fore-sight and gilt girdle, the breeches each inlaid with numerous decorative gold marks with three parallel gold lines at the rear and large gold lining around each touch-hole, the top flat with Hadley's own two gold-lined stamps in the Spanish fashion, grooved tangs finely engraved with flowers, foliage, birds, musical instruments and a grotesque mask, all on a matted ground, flat locks each signed on the lower moulded border and finely engraved with an elaborate panoply of arms, flowers and foliage, also on a matted ground, large engraved safety-catches, gold-lined pans and steels, highly figured walnut full stocks finely carved with rococo ornament in relief at the barrel tangs, and inlaid with rococo designs in silver wire, dots, and engraved silver plaques, full silver mounts of the highest quality cast and chased in high relief with martial trophies involving figures of Victory and Britannia, the escutcheons engraved with the arms of Clerk of Penicuik (Scotland), set triggers, finely engraved turned ramrod-pipes, and original silver-mounted ramrods, the head of one forming a powder-measure, the external screws (other than the jaw screws) each with squared recess in the head, both pistols preserved in exceptional original condition throughout, London proof marks and Foreigner's mark\n17in. (43.2cm.) (2)
GB
GB
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notes

This is probably the finest pair of English 18th Century silver-mounted pistols extant, as well as the finest English pair in private hands

Henry Hadley is first recorded in the minutes of the Gunmakers' Company in 1735 and he died in 1773. He moved from the Minories to the more fashionable West End of London in 1749, where he worked for an exalted clientèle, although he was never free of the Gunmakers' Company. He is especially noted for a series of silver-mounted pistols with Spanish-style barrels, of which the present pistols are recognised as the finest, the others being in the Royal Collection at Windsor (two pairs, No.s 475, 494), and the Royal Armouries, H.M. Tower of London (a pair bearing the arms of the Duke of Marlborough, No.s XII. 1645/6). Of the four pairs, the present pair and the Marlborough pair are finished to the highest degree, with silver inlay and unmarked silver mounts of almost identical design. The mounts were presumably especially designed for Hadley, while the inlay appears to be by the same hand as that in the stock of the Kolbe air-gun in the Victoria and Albert Museum (No. 494-1894), and also of a fine fowling-piece by Griffin in the Capodimonte Museum at Naples (No. 2604).

The exceptionally fine engraving on the locks was probably the work of an independent professional engraver rather than one of Hadley's own workmen. It has been suggested that this was William Sharpe 'of the Little Minories London Ingraver', who is mentioned in Hadley's will, and who engraved the Great Seal of the Master General of Ordnance in 1762

title

A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF 20-BORE SILVER-MOUNTED FLINTLOCK PISTOLS

prelot

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

signed

With two-stage barrels in the Spanish manner, each retaining their original deeply blued finish and with gold spider fore-sight and gilt girdle, the breeches each inlaid with numerous decorative gold marks with three parallel gold lines at the rear and large gold lining around each touch-hole, the top flat with Hadley's own two gold-lined stamps in the Spanish fashion, grooved tangs finely engraved with flowers, foliage, birds, musical instruments and a grotesque mask, all on a matted ground, flat locks each signed on the lower moulded border and finely engraved with an elaborate panoply of arms, flowers and foliage, also on a matted ground, large engraved safety-catches, gold-lined pans and steels, highly figured walnut full stocks finely carved with rococo ornament in relief at the barrel tangs, and inlaid with rococo designs in silver wire, dots, and engraved silver plaques, full silver mounts of the highest quality cast and chased in high relief with martial trophies involving figures of Victory and Britannia, the escutcheons engraved with the arms of Clerk of Penicuik (Scotland), set triggers, finely engraved turned ramrod-pipes, and original silver-mounted ramrods, the head of one forming a powder-measure, the external screws (other than the jaw screws) each with squared recess in the head, both pistols preserved in exceptional original condition throughout, London proof marks and Foreigner's mark

postlot

END OF SALE

exhibited

The Art of the Armourer, Victoria and Albert Museum, 19 April- 5 May 1963, No. 249

dimensions

17in. (43.2cm.) (2)

literature

Claude Blair, European and American Arms, No. 443

Pistols of the World, Nos. 266, 267

John Hayward, The Art of the Gunmaker, Vol. II, p. 202, plates 66, 67a and dustjacket

John Hayward and Claude Blair, 'The Gwynn Collections', Connoisseur, June 1962, pp. 78-91

H.L. Blackmore, 'Henry Hadley, "Foreigner", and Four Pairs of his Pistols', Connoisseur, October 1957, pp. 82-87

provenance

Probably made for George, second son of Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, Bt., who became 4th Baronet and died in 1784

By descent within the family

W. Keith Neal

R.T. Gwynn


*Beachten Sie, dass der Preis nicht auf den aktuellen Wert umgerechnet wird, sondern sich auf den tatsächlichen Endpreis zum Zeitpunkt des Verkaufs des Objekts bezieht.

*Beachten Sie, dass der Preis nicht auf den aktuellen Wert umgerechnet wird, sondern sich auf den tatsächlichen Endpreis zum Zeitpunkt des Verkaufs des Objekts bezieht.


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