BRITISH ORDNANCE PATTERN 1801 SEA SERVICE PISTOL

$2,950.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 1037-84

A British ordnance made 1801 Pattern sea service pistol dating to the Napoleonic Wars and War of 1812. Pistols were short range and single shot, of course, but of immense use in boarding actions, where the fighting was close and hand to hand, and a pistol could even make an effective club or thrown missile once discharged. From 1801 to 1812 some 27,800 pairs of this pattern were supplied by contractors to the British ordnance system to supply Britain’s large fleet. This one bears a Board of Ordnance “BO” under [broad arrow] cartouche on the right wrist and government view and proofs on the left breech of a [crown] “GR” [broad arrow] mark over a crown over cross-scepters mark. The metal is very good. The 12-inch barrel shows bright with scattered brown pin pricks, mostly toward the breech. It was likely cleaned many years ago and is toning down again gradually. The lock is the correct India pattern with “Tower” stamped at the breech. Forward of the hammer is a crown over “GR” and a Crown/2 inspector mark. The lock shows some darker shades of gray mixed with lighter but is not pitted. The mechanism is good. The touchhole is not burned out.

The long belt hook is in place on side. The side plate and triggerguard are stamped with the number “28,” probably the ship’s inventory or rack number. The butt cap has the same number, but the second digit was struck in error and corrected by overstamping it and adding the correct “8” so it reads “288.” The wood is very good. The color is good. The edges of the apron and lock platform are distinct. There is a small divot out on the right just forward of the lock; some minor chipping to the wood are the rear point of the lockplate, which is pretty minor; and a small chip just above the buttcap ear on the left.

This is a very good example of an issue British navy flintlock pistol.  [sr]

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