Ezekiel Baker (1758-1836) apprenticed under famed English gunmaker Henry Nock and is most famous as the designer of the Baker rifles adopted in 1800 and the first standard issue rifles of the British military. Civilian arms by Baker, especially those from his short partnership with James Negus around 1802-1805, are rarely found. 74 Newgate St. and 23 Little Alie St. (on the case label) were the addresses of the firm c.1802-1804. Baker also established a substantial factory and private proof house, served as a gunmaker to King George IV, supplied the East India Company, and remained active until his death in 1836. The business continued on until at least 1860. The patent breech drawing on the case label is for a breech system very similar to Nock's but with a round instead of cylindrical cavity. The pistols have fixed post and notch sights, "BAKER & NEGUS LONDON" on top of the Damascus barrels, gold banded breech ends, gold lined vents, "BAKER/& NEGUS" on the locks which are secured by screws from the right into the breech, half-cock sliding safeties, hooked trigger guards, martial engraving on the furniture, and checkered wrists on the full length stocks. It feels like they may have a concealed single set trigger mechanism, but the locks were not readily removable for inspection. The case also contains a flask, ball mold, rod, some flints, and a piece of lead.
Fine with bright original gold inlaid band and vent, attractive Damascus patterns, strong traces of original blue on the furniture, mostly brown patina on the balance, artificial brown on the professionally made replaced cock (hammer), and crisp markings. The stock is very good and has crisp checkering and scattered light scratches and dings. Mechanically fine other than the potential set trigger which will not set. The case is fair with moderate staining and tears, general scrapes and dings, several chips, and a hole in the bottom right. The ball mold is fair, and the other accessories are fine.
As described in "A".
Fine with bright original gold, attractive Damascus patterns, some traces of original blue on the furniture, mostly brown patina on the balance, artificial brown on the professionally made replaced cock (hammer), and crisp markings. The stock is good and has a crack at the tail of the lock, "H" scratched on the left flat, crisp checkering and scattered light scratches and dings. Mechanically fine other than the potential set trigger which will not set. Overall, this is a very attractive cased pair of classic English dueling pistols.
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