Henry Nock (1741-1804) was one of England's premier dueling pistol makers and invented the patent breech in 1787, was appointed gunmaker-in-ordinary to King George III two years later, and was promoted to master of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers in 1802. Dueling pistols made up a smaller percentage of his work compared to some of London's other makers, making his pistols harder to find and thus more valuable. These pistols have gold "crown/NOCK/LON/DON" maker's marks on the patent breeches along with gold bands and gold vent liners and are also signed "H NOCK" on the locks which have some light engraving, sliding half-cock safeties, and large rollers on the frizzen springs and are secured by single screws. The smoothbore Damascus barrels have dovetailed bead front sights, and notch sights are on the upper tangs which have martial and floral engraving. The locks are tripped by adjustable single set triggers enclosed in large blued trigger guards which have spurs, "pineapple" finials, and martial themed engraving. The full-length stocks have smooth slab sides on the checkered wrists. The case has a Henry Nock trade label inside illustrating Nock's patent breech, a rod with a ball puller, four lead balls, powder flask with compartment containing flints, tow, a brush, and a turnscrew with a pick.
Extremely fine with 85% plus brown finish on the barrel along with distinct twist patterns, bright original gold, 60% plus original case colors, nearly all of the vibrant niter blue on the frizzen spring, 80% original blue on the trigger guard and furniture, some strike marks on the frizzen face, crisp checkering on the excellent wood, a slight sliver absent at the trigger guard tang on the right, and minor marks and scratches. Mechanically excellent. The re-lined case and accessories are very good and have mild storage wear including some warping at the case lid corners.
Extremely fine with 85% plus brown finish remaining on the barrel as well as distinct twist patterns, bright original gold, 60% plus original case colors, 80% plus of the vibrant nitre blue on the frizzen spring, 85% original blue on the trigger guard and furniture, distinct markings and engraving, strike wear on the frizzen, very fine wood with crisp checkering on the wrist, split in the forend tip, and general minor marks and scratches. Mechanically excellent. Overall, this is a very attractive pair of classic English dueling pistols by one of London's finest gunmakers.
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