An English officer’s percussion pistol by J & G Gibbs
Probably once of a pair, this elegant and finely detailed British officer’s pistol was typical of those carried in the early Victorian era.
The British officer who carried this pistol was likely of the 61st (South Gloustershire) Regiment of Foot, an infantry regiment garrisoned at Horfield Barracks, Bristol (1801-1881) and known as “The Silver Tailed Dandies” and “The Flowers of Toulouse”. The Regiment was stationed in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) between 1828 and 1840 and in 1845 was sent to India, later fighting in the Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-1849).
We can make a fair assumption that our pistol possibly saw service at this time, because we know it was made by J & G Gibbs at their Bristol workshop at 4 Radcliffe Street in 1835 (In 1842, George Gibbs practiced as a sole gunmaker from new premises at 142 Thomas Street; Source British Gunmakers Their Trade Cards, Cases & Equipment, 1760-186- W. Keith Neal & D.H.L.Back.
Our pistol is half-stocked in chequered English walnut and features a smooth-bore 48 calibre, 10 inch hexagonal barrel with rear and front sights. The tang, lock plate and trigger guard are finely engraved with floral motifs and there is a vacant sterling silver escutcheon to the grip and sterling silver locking wedge eyes and a double silver inlay across the tang. The Stock forend is rounded with deer antler and the original ramrod (with worm) is tipped with antler. The pistol is signed “J & G Gibbs” on both the barrel flat and the lock plate.
The pistol is in very good overall condition with strong, tight cocking action and very worthy of an English pistol collector’s portfolio.