British Ducks Foot Flintlock Pistol C.1798- Battle of the Nile
Original Item: Only One Available. Another amazing piece acquired from the Strakaty collection of Vienna, Austria.
Made by MOORE of LYMINGTON, a town in the English county of Hampshire not far from the great naval dockyards at Portsmouth, now the home of Admiral Lord Nelson's Ship of the line, the H.M.S. VICTORY.
This small flintlock Duck's Foot pistol has four simple 2 3/8 inch barrels. Is an overall length of 8" with a plain slab-sided butt and is a modest example of a rare variety of Flintlock Pistol intended to fire all four barrels simultaneously, supposedly to discourage a mutinous crew.
What makes this item so interesting is that on the underside, on the flat directly behind the barrels, there is an engraving of an English Oak Tree. Throughout the branches of this Oak Tree there are five inlaid silver ovals each bearing a naval officer's name.
Research tells us that the four names on left and right were all captains at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Those listed are Captains BALL, FOLEY, HOOD and BERRY.
But it gets better. In the center the silver inlaid oval bears the name NELSON who of course commanded this historic engagement of August 1st-3rd 1798 officially titled The Battle of Aboukir Bay, but commonly referred to as The Battle of the Nile, when Nelson crushed the French Fleet and put paid to Napoleon's ambitions in Egypt.
Speculation is that one of these captains commissioned five of these pistols as a token of remembrance of the engagement and presented them to the other named officers, including Nelson. If only it could be shown that Nelson himself gifted these to his inner circle, but alas no such record can be found.
As to which Captain did commission the Duck's Foot pistol(s) we will probably never know. All this is speculation but we’re sure you will agree, it makes a jolly good story!
So that's it, a nice small original flintlock Duck's Foot Pistol made a stone's throw from the Portsmouth dockyards probably immediately following the 1798 Battle with what we hope is a very solid connection to Nelson and The Battle of the Nile.
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