Scottish Flintlock Pistol, 1695

AO 2 English Tower Flintlock.jpg
AO 2 English Tower Flintlock.jpg

Scottish Flintlock Pistol, 1695

10.00

Made of two metals - steel with silver inlay. The barrel has a polygon muzzle behind which are three encircling bands of silver. From the breech to half way up the barrel there are inlaid half bands of silver engraved with an interlacing design. In a panel between these bands, inlaid in silver, is the date 1695. Midway along the top of the barrel, once again inlaid in silver, is a garlanded thistle surmounted by a crown. The stock is heavily inlaid with silver bars, lines, triangles, roses and tulips. Between the ram’s horns is a rose surmounted by a crown with a smaller rose appearing at the end of the ramshorn curl. The belt hook on the other side of the pistol is 9 inches long and has inlaid on it a silver tulip with a long stalk and the tang (1) by which it is secured to the stock has a finely executed fenestrated design. The ramrod is tipped with silver and is retained by two silver ramrod pipes. In traditional form the trigger is swung from the top of the butt. Situated between the ram’s horns is the pricker (2) which repeats the onion shape of the trigger. The lock is of first quality, with scroll decoration and bearing the maker's name. The scear (3) or catch which holds the hammer when it is cocked is of the vertical type which allows for a half cock and full cock position. Further safety is in the form of a small steel pawl (4) which drops into a notch cut in the back of the cock when it is pulled to the half cock position. This was a feature of dog lock pistols (5) of the earlier part of the 17th century. Furthermore, the cock and tumbler (6) are forged in one as was common to snaphaunce pistols, illustrated by the previous plate. Where the tumbler screw, which secures the hammer to the tumbler shaft, would normally be found on a traditional flintlock there is engraved on the hammer a fine petalled rose. Pistols of this quality were costly. This was probably one of a pair and must have been the property of a person of rank.

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(1) An extension of a metal tool or instrument, as a chisel, file, knife, axe, coulter, pike, scythe, sword, etc., by which it is secured to its handle or stock. Also in certain firearms.

(2) A pricker is used to keep the touchhole clear. Prickers usually have a piece of brightly coloured ribbon attached to them.

(3) Sear (scear) a portion of a gun-lock which engages with the notches of the tumbler to keep the hammer at full or half cock, and which is released (at full cock) by pressure upon the trigger.

(4) A bar pivoted at one end to a support and engaging at the other with the teeth of a ratchet-wheel or ratchet-bar, to hold it in a required position; a lever with a catch for the teeth of a wheel or bar.

(5) A doglock is a type of lock for firearms that preceded the 'true' flintlock in rifles, muskets, and pistols in the 17th century.

(6) In a gun-lock, a pivoted plate through which the mainspring acts on the hammer, and in the notches of which the sear (above) engages.