A Very Fine, Possibly Unique, Cased Howdah Pistol by Samuel and Charles Smith. 13” overall, 7” blued tapering flat sided barrels made in a single block of octagonal section with London Proofs and engraved on each side with scrolling foliage, signed ‘Saml and C Smith London’ on sighted top flat engraved with foliage between the nipples, nipple bolsters each with small platinum plug, blued border engraved tang decorated with foliate scrollwork and with a starburst behind the back-sight. Blued lower tang engraved en suite, signed case-hardened border engraved back-action locks each with blued safety catch, foliate scroll engraved case-hardened hammers each with blued detachable nose for Imperial caps. Chequered finely figured rounded butt with rounded pommel, blued border engraved trigger guard decorated with scrolling foliage, silver escutcheon engraved with owner's crest, blued under-rib and stirrup ramrod. In its original lined and fitted oak case with accessories including Sykes patent cylindrical brass mounted powder flask in fine condition, steel bullet mould, nipple-wrenches each with flattened figured handle, and bags of lead balls, the lid with Samuel & Charles Smith trade label stating ‘Gun Makers to His Majesty & His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester’ and ‘Sons of the Late William Smith’, used circa 1827-1845, the exterior with brass escutcheon and flush-fitting brass carrying handle, London proof marks.
The unusual form of the butt is believed to be intended for shooting down from an elephant howdah.
Pistol in very fine condition with full complement of accessories
Provenance: Christie's South Kensington, Fine Antique Arms, Armour and Collectors Firearms, 17 December 2013, lot 82
The Peter Dineley Collection
The crest is that of the Earls of Liverpool (extinct 1851), almost certainly for Charles Cecil Cope Jenkinson, 3rd Earl of Liverpool (1784-1851)
Samuel Smith, the son of William Smith, carried on his father's business at 64 Princes Street from 1824, and for a short period the firm was called Smith & Co. Samuel took his brother Charles into partnership, and the name was changed to Samuel and Charles Smith