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This pair of pistols dating from circa 1802 are listed by serial number on page 79 of "The Mantons: Gunmakers" (Walker & Company 1967 edition) by W. Keith Neal and D.H.L. Back and are listed as a cased pair of double barrel 22 bore pistols credited to "N. Blank, U.S.A." and discussed as: "The barrels are set 'under and over'. They are hair rifled and are marked on their underside 4033, the hooks of the breech plugs being similarly numbered. The words on the upper barrels are in gold, and the touch-holes are gold lined. The serial number 3870 appears on the trigger guards, and on the locks. Single trigger mechanisms are fitted which operate the left lock first. This fires the lower barrel, Manton's normal practice, since the recoil of the lower barrel disturbs aim less." The Norman R. Blank Collection's tag for this pair notes "Ex: Samuel Colt Collection" but no further information was included. An included August 28, 1961, dated sales record indicates it was purchased by Mr. Blank from F. Theodore Dexter. The pistols have very faint "hair" or "scratch" rifling in the barrels and are fitted with fixed silver blade front sights and dovetailed notch rear sights on the upper barrels and are signed "---MANTON * LONDON---" in gold inlay on the upper flats as well as gold bands and vent liners at the breech ends. The faint rifling present on these pistols will have added a useful degree of accuracy. The flats on the right have London proof marks, and the lower right flats on the upper barrels are marked "4033." The casehardened standing breeches have martial and floral engraving. The flat, casehardened locks are signed "MANTON" below the pans and have border and floral engraving, frizzen rollers, and sliding half-cock safeties. The blued trigger guards have the serial number in an oval among the floral and martial themed engraving. Ramrods with horn tips are fitted below the lower barrels. The checkered stocks have apertures for mounting a shoulder stock (absent). The apertures are likely working life additions. The original mahogany fitted case has a John Manton trade label of circa 1801-1815 inside the lid, green baize lining, a combination flask, "4033" and "22" marked ball mold, brush, balls, loading and cleaning rod, and jag.
Very fine with 75% plus of the fading original brown finish remaining along the barrels, bright gold, 85% plus original case colors and blue finish, and generally light overall age and storage related wear. The stock is also very fine and has crisp checkering, a few marks and scratches, and slight handling and storage wear. Mechanically excellent. The case is fine and has mild age and storage related wear including some holes and contact wear on the interior. The flask is fair, but the other accessories are fine.
See "A." Provenance: F. Theodore Dexter; The Norman R. Blank Collection
Very fine with 75% plus of the fading original brown finish remaining along the barrels, bright gold, 70% original case colors, 85% original blue finish, and general minor overall age and storage related wear. The stock is also very fine and has crisp checkering and a few dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. This is a very attractive and rare set. Double barrel, single trigger over/under pistols like these demonstrate Manton's talents as a maker of the best flintlock firearms in the early 19th century.
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