A Fine Cased Pair of William Mills Target Pistols. 15 ½ ” overall. 10” octagonal sighted poly-groove 40 bore rifled barrels each signed along the top flat ‘W Mills Improved Gunmaker 120 High Holborn London’. Adjustable foresight, rear sight on scroll engraved tang. Flat bolted scroll engraved locks, signed ‘W Mills Improved’ with foliate scroll engraved dolphin hammers. Figured walnut half-stocks with chequered rounded butts, squared trigger-guards, decorated with scroll engraving bearing the serial number ‘1750’ trigger-plates each with pineapple finial, German silver fore-end caps numbered 1 & 2 .Silver escutcheons with a Ducal crest of a merman over a lion. Barrel-bolt escutcheons and original brass-tipped ramrods both with worms . In original mahogany case with accessories including brass three way powder flask, bullet mould, box wood cap box with W.Mills label. The interior of the lid with embossed W.Mills trade label, the exterior with circular brass escutcheon with Ducal crest centred on a folding brass carrying handle.
Very high-quality pistols by one of the best gun makers you haven’t heard of. In very good condition with old rebrown to barrels, very good rifled bores.
See Peter Finer Catalogue 2007 No 33 for an example of his best work.
W.MILLS Apprentice to William Parker, 1797. Gunmaker, 59 Judd Street., Brunswick Square. 1821; 120 High Holborn 1822-43. Factory at 1 King Street. Gun maker to George IV in 1830, and then Willian IV and then Queen Victoria. Made guns with superimposed charges on Jacob Mould's Pat.; revolvers of E.H. Colliers patent circa 1830-5. Died 1837. Business continued by son, William Frederick, under father's name, and as W. Mills & Son. Gunmaker to Ordnance 1836-9; East India Co. 1836-43. Bankrupt 1843.