English Cased Dueling Pistols

  • Beautiful engravings and richly patterned hardwood distinguish these English dueling pistols
  • Dueling was a privilege afforded to the upper class, and these pistols reflect this status
  • The pair is housed, along with its assortment of fine tools, in its custom-fitted case
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-4182

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This handsome set of English .52-.54 caliber percussion pistols represents the bygone tradition of the gentlemen’s duel. Dueling was a privilege afforded to the upper class, and these pistols, remarkable in their artistry and construction, reflect this social standing. Each pistol features intricate silver engraving on the locks and mounts, and precise carving within the richly patterned walnut stocks. Positioned in their original wooden fitted oak case, lined in a royal blue felt, along with all of their original accessories, these pistols are of exceptional quality and condition. Accoutrements housed in the case include a cleaning rod, extra rod tip, flask, patch cutter, nipple pick and bullet mold. The mechanism on each pistol is engraved “Elsam.”

Around the time these guns were made, duels were common practice in England and America as a way for gentlemen to protect their honor. The ritual begins when one man insults another, and the offended challenges the offender to a duel. If the offender accepts, he then chooses the weapon — sword or pistol. Largely due to the infamous 1804 duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, the popular weapons of choice were large-caliber smoothbore pistols such as these. The octagonal muzzles of these guns are smoothbore rather than rifled, or grooved, making them relatively inaccurate when compared to their rifled counterparts. This made them a popular choice for duels as they did not always result in death.

Mid-19th century

Case: 18" wide x 8 7/8" deep x 2 3/4" high
English Cased Dueling Pistols
Period: 19th Century
Origin: England
Type: Arms and Armor
Depth: 8.88 Inches
Width: 18.0 Inches
Height: 2.75 Inches

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