STEEL & SHOT
Authentic Antique Arms | Flintlocks
Royal Mail Pistol No. 191 by H W Mortimer c1788
A genuine piece of history by the renowned gun maker Henry Walklate Mortimer.
Most roads in England of the late 1700s travelled by coaches and the Royal Mail were little more than goat tracks that offered many opportunities for attack by highwaymen and footpads. The most vulnerable were the defenceless post boys aged 14 to 18 who set off on horseback or with push carts to deliver the mail cases.
In 1784 Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger authorised a trial of armed Royal Mail coaches between London and Bath. This was a success and the concept was soon adopted.
H W Mortimer was one of the early suppliers providing blunderbusses and flintlock pistols. This is one of those pistols.
The pistol itself has a 9 3/16 inch brass round and slightly swamped barrel with a 15mm [.59 Cal] bore and London proofs. The inscription on top of the barrel ‘H.W.MORTIMER. LONDON. GUN MAKER TO HIS MAJESTY NO.191’ is rubbed but parts of it can still be read.
The plain lock plate is engraved ‘H W MORTIMER’ and fitted with a sliding bolt safety which is stuck. The lock holds full and half cock and the swan cock appears to be original.
The brass furniture is in solid condition with the round butt showing many signs of use.
The full length walnut stock has an excellent period repair to the front of the pistol, probably by Mortimer himself. These pistols saw hard service going from coach to coach and mail guard to guard.
A very solid and interesting piece of history.
Sold as an antique collector item only.
Price includes insurance and postage in Australia, lay-buy available.
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