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    Sale 5427

    Antique Arms & Armour

    17 December 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 197

    A PAIR OF SCOTTISH ALL-METAL FLINTLOCK BELT PISTOLS BY JOHN MURDOCH, DOUNE

    CIRCA 1750-60

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF SCOTTISH ALL-METAL FLINTLOCK BELT PISTOLS BY JOHN MURDOCH, DOUNE
    CIRCA 1750-60
    Each with three-stage barrel with flared octagonal muzzle, ramped fluted breech and engraved with characteristic panels of scrollwork, engraved bevelled lock signed 'Io. Murdoch' and inscribed 'Doun' (sic) along the leading upper edge, three-quarter length stock engraved with neo-Celtic patterns of interlace inlaid with silver over the length of the butt, with panels of foliage, scrollwork and border ornament over the remaining surfaces, inlaid with three engraved silver bands on the underside, a pair of vacant silver ovals on the butt, silver button trigger pricked and engraved with an expanded flowerhead, pierced engraved belt hook, and original ramrod (the prickers each missing, small patches of light surface rust)
    11¼in (28.6cm) (2)


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    Provenance

    Lieutenant-General Hugh Percy, 2nd Duke of Northumberland (1742-1817, acceded 1786). The pistols were given as a present to a Mr Wood, factor (manager) of the ducal estates at Alnwick, Northumberland.
    Thence by descent to the present owner.

    Prior to his resignation from General Lord Howe's army in 1777, Hugh Percy had served with distinction in The American Revolutionary War. As commanding officer of the relief column at the Battle of Lexington and Concord Percy saved the retreating British forces from total defeat. In 1775, as a Divisional commander, he was engaged in the Battle of Long Island and led the storming of Fort Washington.

    In 1786 Hugh Percy succeeded his father as 2nd Duke of Northumberland and worked in continuation of the program of agricultural improvements at Alnwick. He held twice-weekly meeting at Alnwick Castle with tenants and tradespeople, these occasions being almost certainly organised and attended by Wood.