Original British 1705 Dated Flintlock Pistol Brace by Henry Delany - Shirburn Castle
Original Items: Only One Set Available. A fine brace of Flintlock military style pistols produced by the gunmaker Henry Delany who worked in London from 1690 until 1750. They have 10" barrels with London proof marks are 17" in overall length. The mounts are all brass, with English Walnut wood stocks. Barrels are secured from the rear by a tang screw rising from inside the trigger guard. Plain banana shaped locks are signed H. DELANY. Brass escutcheons are both engraved:
These pistols are typical of those used by a Household Militia force in the event of social unrest or more likely, at that time, of French invasion.
SHIRBURN CASTLE near Thames not very far from Oxford North West of London was the family home of part of the famous Gage family who had been active in English Politics since the 1540s era of King Henry VIII. Thomas Gage the current resident in 1700 outfitted the castle with pistols and muskets all marked to Gage family. In 1716 Gage sold the Castle to the 1st Earl of Macclesfield and the Castle remained the seat for the Earls until 2004 when the current Earl, the ninth was evicted by his own Estate Trustees supposedly for misdirecting family assets. The castle had been put in Trust by the eighth Earl to avoid debilitating taxation and effectively the family lost control of the estate. As it happened a legal battle ensued resulting in the current Earl having to vacate the property but by taking with him all its contents which, it was ruled, were not part of the Trust.
Everything was sold including the entire armory containing 50 numbered 46" Brown Bess Muskets with bayonets commissioned by the 2nd Earl of Macclesfield in the 1740s and a great number of weapons including the Gage family weapons dating to 1700-1705. The Gage family moved to another Gage property, that of Firle Place in Sussex on the South Coast and there in 1720 Thomas Gage had a son, yet another THOMAS GAGE who went on to become one of England's most notable Generals in the early part of the U.S. War of Independence. Whereas twenty of the GAGE muskets made by DELANY were found in the Armory in 2004, only two of the DELANY Flintlock Pistols had survived to our knowledge. All the items from Shirburn Castles Armory were dispersed when sold after the Earl's eviction.
This brace of DELANY Flintlock Pistols dated 1705 are in wonderful fully cleaned, ready to display condition, the only two known to have survived after over 300 years.
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