Premier Firearms Auction
May 12, 13, 14, & 15, 2023
Cased Pair Of Joseph Manton Pistols With Early Percussion Conversions One By Forsyth The Other By Joseph Egg. Ex Keith Neal Collection
Cal. 50 both
S# 3227 both
These pistols were made as flintlocks in 1805. They have 10″ octagon stub twist barrels with under ribs. 50 caliber bores are scratch or “hair” rifled. Inset patent breeches have deeply set platinum poincon marked “JOSEPH” “MANTON” “PATENT” under a crown. S#’s are stamped on bottom flat of both barrels and breeches. Barrels are not proofed. Breech irons are set with dovetailed through u-notch rear sights and engraved with flags, shields and feather bursts. Locks with be discussed after further description of pistols. Iron mounted stocks have flat checkered bag grips, ending in steel caps. Triggers are not set. Trigger plates end in stylized pineapple finials and trigger guards have armorial engraving on bows. Oval silver crest plates at tops of grips are engraved with the initials “JHK” which match initials on central medallion of case. Stocks have horn caps and attach to barrels with captive side bolts through oval silver escutcheons. Horn capped rosewood ramrods (one with brass end) mount through single pipes and nicely filed steel thimbles. Around 1810 one pistol was fitted with Forsyth patent scent bottle percussion lock number 2098.
The Rev. Alexander Forsyth is credited with the invention of the percussion principle, the forerunner of all later developments in propellant ignition, resulting in ammunition as we know it today. The “scent bottle” contained a powdered potassium chlorate mixture. Rotating the bottle deposited a small amount of this powder on a platform where it could be set off by the blow of the hammer. Lock is engraved with sprays of acanthus scroll; scroll at rear terminates in sea monster. Borders of lock and swept hammer are feather engraved. Center of lock is engraved “FORSYTH & CO.” “PATENT”. Scent bottle itself is deeply stamped with a “F” over “PATENT” on a scroll. It is interesting to note that the original flintlock, if available, could be reinstalled and used as the original touch hole has not been altered except for a fairly deep dimple made to better seal percussion lock. The other pistol has been converted to percussion CA 1825 with well made drum and nipple replacing touchhole in patent breech. It appears that a new lock has been fashioned which has very early style integral fence and flat faced hammer with square head which it also is shielded at right of nose. This lock has some sprays of scroll engraved within feather borders and is also engraved “Joh. Egg” (working 1814-34 at 1 Piccadilly St.).
UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: guns are housed in their original mahogany case with flush mounted folding circular “D” ring handle with brass circular medallion at center. Interior is lined in green cloth. A Joseph Manton Davies St. Berkeley Square label is in lid. Bottom compartment contains a fine array of vintage accessories including, two 10 1/2″ brass and ebony loading and cleaning rods with leather faced mallet head, 14″ loading rod, nutcracker type ball mould marked “55”, three compartment powder, ball and patch flask with red Morocco leather cover, rosewood handled small turn screw and nipple wrench (that don’t fit either pistol). There are also two empty covered compartments. Covers have bone knobs.