This is a very rare pair of royal presentation H.W. Mortimer & Son dueling pistols. The pistols have copper blade front sights on the smoothbore barrels, platinum banded and lined breech plugs with inset platinum "crown/MORTIMER/FLEET-ST" maker's marks, notch rear sights and sight grooves on the engraved upper tangs, "H.W./Mortimer/& SON" signed locks with border and classical martial engraving, sliding safeties, waterproof pans with platinum lining, and frizzen spring rollers; "89/FLEET ST" among the martial trophies on the spurred trigger guards, single set triggers, pineapple trigger plate finials, floral engraved pommel caps, checkered saw-handle stocks, silver forend caps and wrist escutcheons, and two silver inlays on the left stock flats: the front a banner inscribed "To Don Francisco Sayus/-THE SPANISH PATRIOT-/The FRIEND of BRITAIN" and the rear a circle with the arms of the Prince Regent and "From H.R.H./The PRINCE/REGENT/of GT/BRITAIN." The pair comes in a later case with some balls, a brass ball mold, cleaning rod, patch tin, screwdriver, and jag. We have found previously unknown period documentation on these presentation pistols. "Gaceta de la Regencia de Espana e Indias Del Jueves 3 de Octubre de 1811" states (translated from Spanish) that information from A Coruna on August 30, 1811, indicates three English frigates had arrived at Motrico and delivered rifles and other goods for Colonel Francisco Espoz y Mina's division and "The Cantanabrian patriot D. Francisco Sayus, one of the Spaniards who worked the most on the principles of our sacred insurrection to excite the patriotism of his compatriots and provide them with shelter to sustain it, has just received from H.R.H. the Prince Regent of England a very honorary office and a pair of extremely fine pistols, on each of which is engraved the following: To D. Francisco Sayus, the Spanish patriot and friend of England. From H.R.H. the Prince Regent of Great Britain." Francisco Sayus (Don Francisco de Sayus) was a Spanish merchant and official. The son of French parents, he was a supporter of the Bourbon monarchy and Spanish independence during the Napoleonic Wars and attempted to free King Fernand VII who was held as a prisoner in France from 1808 to 1814 per Rafael Perez Llano but fled back to Spain when the operation proved to be a trap. Spanish sources from the 19th century indicate he was a representative Field Marshal Francisco Espoz y Mina of the 7th Army, a Spanish guerrilla leader who later was promoted to commander-in-chief of Upper Arragon and fought under the Duke of Wellington. Sayus is listed as a member of the Real Junta de Gobierno (Royal Governing Board) in 1802, as the primary consul on the board in 1808, and as an "honorario" in the eighteen-teens and twenties. On August 8, 1809, Sayus, then treasurer, reported to the council in Santander that he was being treated as a criminal and had been imprisoned and that he received death threats from the French authorities and had become impoverished advancing resources to the city and its inhabitants. He indicated General Jean-Pierre-Francois, Comte de Bonnet, then based in Santander, "said that it was necessary to hang me or shoot me." As a result, he was in constant fear for his life and resolved to leave for his own safety, noting that his current state "is not living: this is a death that is all the more cruel the longer it lasts" leaving behind his family which he asked the council to look after which they accepted. He returned home again in September 1812 and soon returned to his role as treasure. This is discussed in "Acciones militares y gestiones de guerra Cantabria (1808-1814)" by Alfredo Alonso García. He appears to have gone bankrupt in 1819 and died in 1821. An included handwritten note states that the pair was later given to Stephen R. Mallory (1812-1873), later the Secretary of the Confederate Navy, by Major Fitzpatrick of South Carolina and that Fitzpatrick had purchased them from a Spanish officer in Cuba prior to the Civil War and that they were owned by Mrs. Mallory Kennedy when the note was written. They are also recorded in the article "Stephen Russell Mallory: United States Senator from Florida and Confederate Secretary of the Navy Part II" by Occie Clubbs in The Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 4 from 1947. In his footnotes for his discussion of the campaign of 1838, he states, "A brace of dueling pistols presented to Mallory by Col. Fitzpatrick are now in the possession of Mrs. S.R. Mallory Kennedy. The weapons bear the inscription surmounted by the coat of arms, 'Don Francisco de Sayre, [sic] The Spanish Patriot, The Friend of Great Britain, From H.R.H. The Prince Regent of Great Britain' The case which Mallory had constructed is completely fitted with shot, powder, shot mold, flint and flint patches. A ramrod is provided." Colonel Richard Fitzpatrick, born in South Carolina in 1792, and went to Key West sometime between 1816 and 1822 where he became the only authorized wrecking auctioneer. Fitzpatrick was an early American landowner in Florida and had a Miami River plantation. Mallory was born in Trinidad in 1812 and moved to Key West with his family in 1820 and study law under Judge William Marvin and argued maritime cases before the judge. This would provide a business connection to Fitzpatrick and Mallory's later career in the U.S. Senate and as Secretary of the Confederate Navy. Mallory also lived on Fitzpatrick's Miami River plantation in 1831 and worked with him to develop his land holdings. In 1835, Fitzpatrick is recorded as going to Cuba to purchase bloodhounds for use in the campaign against the Seminole Indians, and Mallory also served in 1835-1838. Mallory was a senator for Florida from 1851 until the start of the Civil War and was the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs. As Secretary of the Confederate Navy, he oversaw the establishment and management of their naval efforts throughout the war and became particularly famous for his support for the famous ironclads. He was charged with treason but ultimately pardoned by Johnson in 1866 and had a law career in Florida until his death in 1873.
Good with aged patina on the silver, bright platinum, gray and brown patina on the iron along with mild oxidation and pitting, and general mild overall wear. The stock is also good and has distinct checkering, stabilized cracks through the breech section, some small chips at the edges, and general mild scratches and dings. Mechanically excellent. The relined case and accessories are very good with mild wear.
Good with aged patina on the silver, bright platinum accents, mostly gray and brown patina on the iron along with some mild oxidation and pitting, replacement top jaw and jaw screw, generally crisp engraving, and moderate overall wear. The stock is good aside from a break through the breech section and has distinct checkering, some minor chips at the edges, and light scratches and dings. Mechanically excellent. This is a very interesting pair of dueling pistols with historically significant presentation inscriptions from the Prince Regent to a Spanish rebel and later documented ownership by the man that became the Confederate Secretary of the Navy. They are certainly a well-traveled and storied pair!
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