A Very Fine, Near Mint, Brass Barrelled Flintlock Blunderbuss by Durs Egg.
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31” overall, 15½" ring turned brass octagonal to round four stage barrel flared at the muzzle, with cannon barrel turnings, signed on the top 'D London'. Struck with Tower private proofs, with steel flick bayonet. Stepped bolted flat lockplate engraved 'D.Egg’, swan necked cock, large roller on feather spring, with brass side plate escutcheon inscribed with "CANDIDE UT SECURE" (literally "Candidly and Securely" or "Frankly and Fearlessly" and listed in period sources as "Honesty is the best policy") in a banner over a perched eagle and "TG." This is the motto of Clan Graham and of General Thomas Graham (1750-1843), 1st Baron Lynedoch. The trigger guard has an acorn finial and crossed axes, a club and a patriotic shield. The brass buttplate is engraved with a stand of arms consisting of a club, pole axe, and quiver of arrows and floral patterns on the tang. Walnut full stock chequered at the wrist. Original horn tipped ramrod retained by 2 brass ramrod pipes.
A very high quality Gentleman's coaching blunderbuss in very good condition.
Thomas Graham (1750-1843), 1st Baron Lynedoch, British general, and Whig member of Parliament from Perthshire. He was inspired to join the fight against the French after the desecration of his wife's body by French soldiers and remembered for his many gallant victories. Sir Walter Scott even included him in the final line of the poem "Vision of Don Roderick" due to his romantic devotion. Among his most important military achievements were the successful two year siege and capture of the Island of Malta starting in 1798 that led to the island becoming an important UK territory until 1964 and the defeat of two French divisions and the capturing of French regimental eagle by his single division at the Battle of Barrosa in 1811 despite being outnumbered nearly 2 to 1 and having marched through the night and part of the day before. He was also party to the Defence of Toulon in 1793, siege and capture of Ciudad Rodrigo in 1812, and the siege and capture of San Sebastian in 1813. He was raised to his peerage in 1814. It would have been a very suitable weapon during his travels. This pattern was especially popular for use in defending coaches against highway robbery. Graham's own coach was once attacked on Park Lane prior to him joining the military. Even then he was not one to back down from a fight; he bravely leapt out the carriage door with his sword drawn and seized one of the bandits. The other assailants fled as he threatened to run their accomplice through.