These pistols are of near identical form as the pair built for the future George IV (then the Prince of Wales) by Durs Egg (1748-1831) that are contained within the Metropolitan Museum of Art (accession number: 35.81.1.-.2) and recently on display as part of the MET's "The Art of London Firearms" exhibit. The current pair has silver hallmarks for 1792 indicating they may actually predate the completion date of the Prince of Wales pistols by one to two years (noted as hallmarked 1793 and 1794). A "MB" silversmith's mark for Michael Barnett is on the trigger guard tang of the first pistol of the current pair. The embellishment, robust stock, and .65 (carbine) caliber bores would have certainly been very fitting for an English officer serving during the French Revolutionary Wars such as the War of the First Coalition that Britain took part in starting that same year. Perhaps they were made for an officer of one of the Prince of Wales's regiments such as the 10th (Prince of Wales's Own) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons, 3rd (Prince of Wales's) Dragoon Guards, or 12th (Prince of Wales's) Regiment of (Light) Dragoons. The pistols are signed "D Egg" at the center of the locks and have sunken golden "D. EGG/LONDON" cartouches with St. Edward's crown on the barrels at the breech along with a sunken golden fluer-de-lis on the upper three barrel flats, one thin and one broad gold band at the breech ends, gold vent liners, and gold lined flash pans. They are equipped with adjustable single set triggers. The sights consist of fixed gold blade front sights and dovetailed notch rear sights at the breech fitted between the maker's cartouche and gold bands. The Damascus barrels are par round and part octagon and have sighting flats on top and underibs with single ramrod pipes and London proofs on the undersides. The ramrod with the first pistol has a worm on the end, and the other has a plain end. Both have dark horn tips. The locks have sliding safety catches, stepped tails, and border, floral, and martial engraving. The standing breeches have border, martial, and floral engraving. Blank gold oval escutcheons are on the wrists, and iron floral engraved lock screw washers are on the left flats. The other furniture is silver. The forend caps have burst pattern engraving. The wedge escutcheons are plain. The trigger guards have urns of flowers, a portrait of a shepherd on the finials, and a burst pattern roundel followed by a border and martial design is on the bows, and the pommel caps have additional border, martial, burst, and floral patterns. The stoutly built walnut half-stocks have broad diamond checkering on the wrists with "x" marks on each diamond and molded borders.
Fine with natural aged patina on the silver mounts, bright gold, half of the period refinished brown finish and distinct twist patterns visible on the barrel, traces of case colors but mostly dark aged patina on the lock, generally crisp engraving, minor spots of pitting, and mild overall wear. The refinished stock has some flakes at the edges and thin cracks, a spliced section visible on the left side of the forend, distinct checkering, and mild dings and scratches. Mechanically fine.
See "A." Provenance: The Malcolm King Collection
Very good with attractive natural aged patina displayed on the silver mounts, bright gold, dark aged patina on the lock, 60% period refinished brown finish and distinct twist patterns visible on the barrel, some minor oxidation, generally crisp engraving and markings, repaired trigger guard tang with "punched" markings, and generally mild wear. The refinished stock has distinct checkering patterns, minor nicks at the edges, and general minor dings and marks. Mechanically fine. This is a very attractive pair of pistols very similar to a pair owned by King George IV of the United Kingdom and show signs of being used during the French Revolutionary Wars in defense of the kingdom against their long time French rivals.
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