A presentation Cavalry Officer’s pistol by Gameson of London dated 1842. 13 ½” overall, 8” heavy octagonal Damascus twist carbine bore .650 barrel. Front blade sight with V notched rear sight. Platinum line to breech. Barrel marked GAMESON LONDON and ‘PRESENTED TO THE BEST SHOT OF THE SURREY YEOMANRY CAVALRY JUNE 1842 BY LIEUT COL THE EARL OF LOVELACE’. Scroll engraved side lock engraved Gameson, flat scroll engraved dolphin headed hammer. Walnut full stock with chequered butt and a German silver escutcheon engraved with Lovelace crest , with captive swivel rammer, iron engraved trigger guard .
'Best Shot' in the regiment shooting prizes are usually rifles. It may well be that this rare cavalry officers presentation pistol was a prize for pistol shooting mounted. A very rare example of a shooting prize.
In good condition, with much original finish
With a hand coloured original woodcut engraving from The Illustrated London News dated 17 June 1854 depicting the Inspection of the Second Royal Surrey Militia at Guildford Friday 2 June 1854 Commanded by their 'noble Colonel The Earl of Lovelace. This was the re-established regiment in 1852 following disbandment of the Surrey Yeomanry Cavalry in 1848. The Surrey Yeomanry Cavalry was raised in 1794, but disbanded in 1828. A Southwark Troop was raised in 1831 and became a full Regiment in the same year. That too was disbanded in 1848. Lieut Col The Earl of Lovelace (see engraving) was the Commanding Officer of the Surrey Yeomanry Cavalry in 1842. William King, Earl of Lovelace, was originally eighth Baron King of Ockham (1805-1893). He was created Earl of Lovelace in 1838. On 8 July 1835 he married Lord Byrons only daughter, the exceptionally gifted Ada Lovelace. She was a mathematician best known for incisive notes and comments on her close friend Charles Babbages analytical engine. The family seat of the Earl of Lovelace was at Ockham Park, but he acquired East Horsley Park, in East Horsley, a few miles to the south, in 1840. Lovelace spent thirty years transforming the building into a Rhenish Gothic castle. It was renamed Horsley Towers after he added an extraordinary tower in 1858. The building still stands at the south end of Ockham Road South. Lovelace pioneered the use of wood formed after being steamed - he reported this to the Institution of Civil Engineers and Isambard Kingdom Brunel expressed approval of Lovelace's Great Hall built in 1847 using bent beams. He had excellent bricks made and won the medal for brickmaking at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Lovelace was Lord Lieutenant of Surrey in 1840, FRS in 1841 and FICE. Lovelace rebuilt a number of buildings in the village and elsewhere in his characteristic style. He also built a number of characteristic horseshoe shaped bridges for transporting timber. Lovelace attended nearby St. Martin's Church, where he is buried in a mausoleum he had built some 20 years previously in the NE corner of the churchyard. In 1919-1926, Horsley Towers was bought by T. O. M. Sopwith, the yacht and aircraft designer.