Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 2287: Wilson - Flintlock

Auction Date: December 2, 2017

Fine Pair of Engraved British Brass Barreled Flintlock Overcoat Pistols with Snap Bayonets Signed "A. Wilson," London, Circa 1815

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $8,000 - $12,000

A) A. Wilson Flintlock Pistol

Manufacturer: Wilson
Model: Flintlock
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45
Barrel: 3 1/2 inch round
Finish: bright/silver
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 1616
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 175
Class: Antique
Description:

These early 19th century pistols are marked "No. 1 VIGO STREET" on the left barrel flats and "REGENT ST LONDON" on the right flats and have "F*J" and London private proof and view marks on the bottom. The muzzles flare out to about .60 caliber, but the main bore measurement is close to .40-.45 caliber. The snap bayonets are marked "D-L" on the bases. The locks are marked "A. WILSON" and have French cocks, semi-waterproof pans, frizzen spring rollers, sliding half-cock safeties, and scroll and border engraving. Coordinating engraving is found on the other furniture which is mostly brass. The checkered, bag shaped stocks have silver thumb and wedge plates. No. 1 Vigo Street/Lane near Regent Street was the home of "Wilson's Gun & Pistol Warehouse" and William Henry Wilson, "Goldsmith, Silver Plater & Dealer in Guns" (also listed as a pawnbroker) around 1806-1825. Exact details on the Wilsons' businesses are often conflicting or incomplete. Alexander Wilson was William's older brother. He also appears listed into the 1820s, but he died in 1819. He also previously worked for the Mantons. Some listings show the business as W.H. Wilson & Elizabeth Wilson Gunmakers in 1821-1825 suggesting she may have been Alexander's wife and inherited his share of the business after his death. Joseph Lang worked for the Wilson warehouse and then established his own "Gun & Pistol Repository from Wilson's Warehouse, Vigo Lane" in the early 1820 and finally purchased the remaining stock from William H. Wilson in 1825 when Wilson retired from the gun trade. Lang became James Purdey's son-in-law in 1828.

Rating Definition:

Fine with aged bronze toned patina on the brass, dark aged patina on the silver, light gray patina and light pitting/spotting on the iron, and some minor marks and scratches. The stock is very good and has minor handling wear, slight cracks in the forend tip, and fairly crisp checkering, Mechanically excellent.



B) A. Wilson Flintlock Pistol

Manufacturer: Wilson
Model: Flintlock
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45
Barrel: 3 1/2 inch round
Finish: bright/silver
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1616
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 175
Class: Antique
Description:

See A.

Rating Definition:

Fine with copper/bronze toned aged patina on the brass, dark aged patina on the silver, gray patina and minor pitting/spotting on the iron, and some marks and scratches including strike marks from a flint by the vent. The stock is very good and has a small hairline crack at the forend tip on the right, mostly crisp checkering, minor handling wear, and some slight repairs on the left flat that appear period. Mechanically excellent. Overall, this is a very attractive pair of pistols in an unusual form.



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