A Finest Quality Flintlock Sporting Gun by Griffin and Tow.
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52” overall, 36” 16 bore two-stage octagonal to round barrel fitted with silver spider fore-sight, two gold filled maker’s stamps, one with Crown over London, the other with a Griffin. Gold vent, florally engraved, bevelled, bolted lock with hound’s tooth engraved border signed ‘Griffin & Tow’. Flat engraved swan necked cock, gold lined spoon shaped pan. Figured walnut half stock lightly carved with foliage and finely inlaid with silver wire scrolls and engraved flower heads. Steel mounts finely engraved and chiselled with flowers and foliage, including butt plate and pierced side plate, dated escutcheon engraved with the owner’s name ‘Thos Alston Esqr 1772’ with chiselled scallop shell above. Horn tipped wooden ramrod with worm.
A sporting gun of the highest quality with wonderfully fine silver wire inlay and very fine chiselled steel mounts in very fine condition. The lock had previously been converted to percussion with drum and nipple then at some point in the last 50 years had an ugly conversion back to flintlock. We have since had the lock rebuilt with a new cock, frizzen and pan.
Thomas Alston, born in 1724 second son of Sir Rowland Alston, Baronet of Odell, Bedfordshire. Fellow Commoner at Queens 21 Apr. 1740; Succeeded his brother Rowland as Baronet in 1759; MP for Beds. 1747 - 61; Died July 18 1774; buried at Odell. He was well known for his eccentricity, spending time in an asylum and left his considerable estate to his housekeeper.