Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3344: Duke of York's Tatham & Egg Over/Under Flintlock Pistol

Auction Date: September 12, 2021

Historic Documented Engraved Tatham & Egg Over/Under Flintlock Pistol Owned by Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $10,000 - $20,000

Historic Documented Engraved Tatham & Egg Over/Under Flintlock Pistol Owned by Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany

Manufacturer: Egg
Model: Superposed
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 4 3/4 inch octagon
Finish: brown/casehardened/blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 4316
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 192
Class: Antique

This pistol was featured on the cover of "Guns Review" Vol. 17, No. 2 from February 1977 and noted as "a flintlock over and under pistol fitted with a single trigger by Tatham and Egg. The grip is inset with a gold escutcheon engraved with the arms of the Duke of York." Prince Frederick(1763-1827), Duke of York and Albany, must have had a preference for pistols by the Egg family. Another smaller pistol of the same pattern was also made for him by Tatham & Egg with silver hallmarks dating to 1812, and a third of similar pattern marked "D. Egg" was also made for the him earlier (see item 151 in "Early Firearms of Great Britain and Ireland from the Collection of Clay P. Bedford"). Joseph Egg (1775-1837) is well-known for his pistols, particularly over under pistols, and was partnered with Henry Tatham in 1801-1814 and were royal gunmakers and cutlers for King George III. By that time, the Duke of York had already had a long military career, including victories at the Siege of Valenciennes, Battle of Beaumont, and Battle of Willems and humiliating defeats during the Flanders expedition that led to the "Grand Old Duke of York" rhyme mocking some of the blunders of the military under his command. The problems were not of his own making, but as commander-in-chief he worked to thoroughly reform and professionalize the army. His actions are credited with preparing the army to ultimately defeated Napoleon in 1815 in concert with the allies. The right lock fires the upper barrel, and the left fires the bottom, both with the single trigger setup to fire the former first. The upper barrel has a broad silver front sight bead. The ramrod is fitted on the left between the barrels. The breech plugs have platinum liners, bands, and "TATHAM/& EGG" maker's marks. The upper tang has floral and martial engraving and a platinum band. The locks are signed "Tatham & Egg" in scrip at the centers, have semi-waterproof "guttered" pans lined with gold, burst and floral engraving, bolted safeties, frizzen spring rollers, and trim pieces that fit between the main plates and the barrels. The blued trigger guard has floral and martial engraving and includes the serial number at the center of the designs, and the blued pommel cap has border and floral engraving. The figured walnut stock has a checkered wrist with ovoid profile and a gold escutcheon inscribed with the crest, garter, and motto of the Duke of York. Provenance: The Richard P. Mellon Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine with more than half of the lightly fading period refinished brown and distinct twist patterns on the barrels, later polished muzzles, patterns of the original case colors visible on the locks and breech plugs, 90% period refinished blue on the furniture, bright platinum and gold accents, faint signs of prior oxidation, crisp markings and engraving, and minor overall wear. The stock is also very fine and has crisp checkering, slight repair by the upper tang, and minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. This is a gorgeous late Georgian flintlock pistol made for the heir apparent during the Napoleonic Wars.

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