A Very Fine Cased Pair of Flintlock Duelling Pistols by William Smith, 15 ¾” overall, 10” 40 bore octagonal Damascus barrel with silver bead front sight, signed “W. SMITH. PRINCES STREET. LONDON” and with recessed case hardened patent breech incorporating a notch rear sight and with four platinum inlaid bands and platinum lined touch hole. Foliate engraved standing breech and flat detented lock retained by a single side nail, signed “WILLIAM SMITH/PRINCES STR.T LONDON” and with safety bolt, swept water proof priming pan and roller frizzen. The lock plate and frizzen respectively engraved “PATENT/2667” and “PATENT/2667/SELF PRIMER” in reference to his British patent No. 3588 of July 28, 1812. Iron furniture engraved en suite. Trigger guard with pineapple finial. Well figured walnut half length stock with chequered butt, blank rectangular silver initial escutcheon at the wrist, silver barrel key escutcheons and silver forearm cap. Wooden ramrod with horn tip and brass powder measure. London proof marks and some internal numbering “1”. In their original fitted mahogany case lined in dark blue baize, the lid with W. Smith Princes Street trade label. With some accessories including brass mounted red leather wrapped powder flask, glass oiler, iron bullet mold and cleaning rod. The case containing a William Keith Neal Collection inventory tag numbered "C75."
Pistols of the very highest quality by one of the very best makers. Pistols and case in very good original condition
William Smith, father of Samuel and Charles Smith who would go on to produce some of the finest English percussion firearms, was an extremely capable and highly regarded maker in his own right with the present pistols dating to circa 1822 and displaying his elegantly swept rainproof priming pans. One of very few pistols made by William Smith 'Patent 2667 and 2668 refers to the 2667 & 2668 locks made in accordance with the maker's patent of 1812.
William Smith was at 2 New Lisle Street, London, between 1806 and 1816. He was appointed Gunmaker-in-Ordinary to the Prince Regent in 1817, and to George IV in 1820. He probably started his serial numbers at 1000.
Provenance: The Arthur Rosling Collection; The W. Keith Neal Collection Sold 8.11.96