Original British Victorian Nickel Silver Framed Pepperbox Percussion Revolver with Birmingham Proofs - circa 1855
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a truly lovely example of the unusual system known as the "PEPPERBOX". The muzzle is similar to the business end of a Pepper Pot of the the early days of Queen Victoria. All six barrels are contained in one solid "tube" or cylinder of steel revolving as a unit. The system was quickly superseded with the design of the traditional revolver, using a rotating chamber and a single barrel in the 1840-1850s. Pepper boxes as such were short lived with the possible exception in France and Belgium, where examples using the Pin Fire and Rimfire systems were made into the late 1870's.
Our example does not have any maker marks on it, but it is really an upmarket example. These were made with the intention that the retailer would add their own marks to the frame, however that did not happen in this case. The only markings present are the CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS / BPC "black powder proof" and CROWN / CROSSED SCEPTERS / V "viewed" marks from the city of Birmingham, stamped on the breech end of the cylinder flutes. This city was well known for its firearms industry, which supplied many guns to smaller gun shops and outfitters.
At first we thought the frame was plated brass, but removing the grip scales shows that it is solid Cupro Nickel alloy, usually called Nickel Silver or "German Silver". Somewhat more resilient than brass, we have rarely seen this used as a frame material, as it is slightly harder to work with. The lock has lovely foliate engraving on both sides, and there is additional engraving around the frame of the "bag" shaped grip. The trigger guard has the same type of engraving, and there is even engraving on the hammer as well. This is definitely a high quality upmarket example.
The finish on the metalwork is excellent, with the nickel silver parts showing just a bit of oxidation. The trigger still shows most of the original bright steel finish, with some staining, and the trigger guard has a lovely blued finish. The hammer and cylinder are case hardened, and still show a lot of the original "rainbow" finish that the process is known for producing. The grip scales look to be walnut, and have al ovely color and a nice finish. We tested the action, and it functions beautifully, and does not appear to have any issues with indexing or cycling.
The Pepper box is exactly what a Victorian Gentleman might have concealed in his Coat pocket to deal with the then all too common Foot Pads and Brigands. Nicely engraved decoration, showing old pitting scars on the barrels and the trigger guard.
Ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: circa 1850
Caliber: approx .39"
Ammunition Type: Cap and Ball
Barrel Length: 3 inches
Overall Length: 7 3/4 inches
Action: Double Only
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver
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