Rock Island Auction Company
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Lot 3247: Cased Pair of Wogdon & Barton Flintlock Dueling Pistols

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

Desirable Cased Pair of Engraved Wogdon & Barton Flintlock Dueling Pistols

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,500 - $9,500

A) Wogdon & Barton Dueling Pistol

Manufacturer: English
Model: Flintlock Pistol
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 10 inch octagon
Finish: brown/casehardened/blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 676
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 180
Class: Antique
Description:

Robert Wogdon (1734-1813) is arguably the best known and most respected maker of flintlock dueling pistols. While other well-known English gunmakers such as Joseph Manton manufactured fine dueling pistols, Wogdon specialized in them. His pistols were so well known that "Stanzas on Duelling Inscribed to Wogdon, the Celebrated Pistol-Maker" from 1782 starts with the lines "Hail Wogdon! Patron of that Leaden death!" The poem later references him again and notes, "This death we lay not, Wogdon to thy blame; Cullum must have his fame as well as you. But you had never gained so great a name, In England had your pistols killed as few." A discussion of the poem in "The Critical Review; or, Annals of Literature" from 1782 notes, "The artist to whom these stanzas are inscribed is famous for his skill in making pistols, whose aim is remarkably true..." and notes the lines "No one can tell how short he shall remain, If honour calls and Wogdon bids him die" as among the best in the poem. In addition to the renown quality of his pistols in his own time, Wogdon is arguably the most recognized maker of dueling pistols known today because of the pair used in the famous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr that ended with Hamilton fatally wounded. The Burr-Hamilton duel pistols were originally in a very similar configuration to this pair. Like that pair, these pistols have "concealed" single set triggers, a standard feature of their pistols rather than a secret designed to give one duelist an advantage over the other. The pistols have smoothbore Damascus barrels with gold vent liners, dovetailed silver blade front sights, "Wogdon & Barton London" signed on top, registration markings for County Down in Ireland, engraved borders at the breech, and casehardened standing breeches with fixed notch rear sights and engraving. The locks are signed "Wogdon/&/Barton" and have frizzen rollers, sliding half-cock safeties, and stepped tails. The wedge and wrist escutcheons are silver, and the latter have a monogram that appears to be the initials "LD." The remaining furniture is iron and includes classic English engraving, including fine pineapple finials on the trigger guards. The custom fitted case has a later three-compartment powder flasks, balls, and an original section from the ramrod of gun "A." Wogdon was partnered with John Barton at 14 Haymarket Street in London in 1795-1803.

Rating Definition:

Very good with more than half of the period refurbished brown, distinct Damascus patterns, and bright gold vent on the barrel; mottled silver-gray patina on the lock, gray and brown patina on the iron furniture, dark aged patina on the silver, replaced ramrod shaft, minor oxidation/pitting, and general mild wear. The refinished stock is also very good and has some dings and worn spots in the otherwise distinct checkering, some faint hairline cracks and repairs in the forend, hammering marks on the butt, and general dings and scratches throughout. Mechanically fine. The relined case has moderate age and storage related wear.



B) Wogdon & Barton Dueling Pistol

Manufacturer: English
Model: Flintlock Pistol
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 10 inch octagon
Finish: brown/casehardened/blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 676
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 180
Class: Antique
Description:

See "A." Provenance: The Collection of Joe M. Wanenmacher Jr

Rating Definition:

Very good with more than half of the period refurbished brown, distinct Damascus patterns, and bright gold vent on the barrel; mix of brown and mottled silver-gray patina on the lock, gray and brown patina on the iron furniture, dark aged patina on the silver, mild oxidation/pitting, and generally mild wear overall. The refinished stock is good and has some dings and worn spots in the otherwise distinct checkering, crack between the ramrod entry pipe and trigger guard finial, repair above the nose of the lock, and some scattered minor dings and scratches. Mechanically fine.



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