A Very Fine Cased Pair of Flintlock Silver Mounted Duelling Pistols By Clarke & Son. 16” overall, 11” slightly swamped twist octagonal 32 bore barrels engraved with maker's address ‘62 Cheapside London’ on the top flat with copper fore sight, Ezekiel Baker's barrelsmith's mark on the underside with London Proofs. Breeches each with two gold lines & gold lined touch hole, border engraved tangs each with rear sight & finely decorated with a martial trophy and foliage, flat bevelled detented locks signed in capitals ‘CLARKE & SON’ & decorated with a starburst behind the gold lined rainproof pan, engraved safety catches also locking the steels, roller frizzen springs. Figured half stocks each with boldly chequered rounded butt, silver mounts comprising border engraved butt caps each with retaining screw centred on a flower head, spur trigger guards each with a martial trophy & foliage on the bow with engraved pineapple finial, border engraved fore end caps each with a starburst around the ramrod entry, shield shaped vacant silver escutcheons, adjustable set triggers. Original silver tipped ramrods with iron worm & threaded for a brass powder measure respectively.
In their original lined & fitted mahogany case with accessories including a red leather covered two way powder flask & threaded brass powder measure, the exterior of the lid with flush-fitting brass carrying handle.
London Silver Hallmarks For 1799, Maker's Mark of Michael Barnett.
Richard Clarke & Son are recorded as Hardwaremen then as Goldsmiths & Jewellers at 62 Cheapside, London between 1797-1829, they were well known for luxury pistols, swords, clocks & watches, all of the highest quality.
Ezekiel Baker (1758-1836), inventor of the Baker rifle & author of ‘Remarks on Rifle Guns (1801)’, was Gunmaker-in-Ordinary to King George IV. He was influential in the King's shooting & collecting, played an important role in the formation of the Carlton House Armoury & had his own proof house at Size Yard, Whitechapel Road, London
Michael Barnett (1758–1823) worked extensively for the arms trade. Registering his first mark with the Goldsmiths’ Company in 1781, he listed himself as a hilt maker, though few sword hilts struck with his mark are recorded however his mark (the letters M and B separated by a pellet) is found on the silver mounts of some of the finest & most important London firearms of the period. See The Arms & Armour Society Vol XXIV No 4 Sept 2023 from page 216.