This is an exceptional example of an engraved Sharps "pepperbox" pistol manufactured by English gunmakers Tipping & Lawden in the early 1860s or 1870s. Tipping & Lawden were one of only two authorized European firms licensed by Sharps to manufacture pistols based on his innovative design. They were part of the 20 member Birmingham Small Arms Trading Company and manufactured approximately 4,000 of the Model 2 in four different calibers. This example has a blue barrel, silver frame, and gutta percha grips with relief floral designs. The frame features almost complete coverage of floral scroll engraving. The barrel cluster has checkered oval panels flanked by engraved scrollwork on the sides. British proofmarks are found on the barrel cluster. The left side of the frame is marked "TIPPING & LAWDEN/SHARPS PATENT" in a circle surrounding the hammer screw. The serial number is marked at the muzzle of the barrel group on the bottom. It comes in a small, nicely figured hardwood case with blue baize lined interior, a compartment with sliding lid and an oiler. The lid has a brass inlaid shield and banner.
Excellent. The barrels retain 97% original high polished blue finish showing some speckling of gray. The frame retains 97% original silver platting. The hammer retains 95% original case colors, and the barrel cluster spring retains 60% original niter blue finish. The grips are also excellent showing limited handling marks. Mechanically excellent. The case is fine showing minor handling/storage marks and high spot wear to the lining.
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