Tuesday, December 29, 2020

"Assembled" Blunderbuss Pistol from the Collection of Brian Godwin


"A 42cm English iron barrelled blunderbuss pistol, c1690. The iron barrel, lock trigger and trigger guard are from from a pistol made by London gunmaker John Dafte (1668-c1709). The lock has traces of strawberry leaf engraving overall and is signed I Dafte. It is fitted with a small dog-catch and the original side-nails have been retained. The 23.8 cm iron barrel is formed in two stages, octagonal at the breech, separated by a ring moulding, then round to the muzzle, which is strongly flared The left side of the breech is stamped with London proof marks and the makers initials ID. The pistol would have originally had an iron butt cap, side-plate and ramrod pipes, all of which have been discarded when it was re-stocked. The walnut stock is roughly carved to pistol shape with the original trigger and guard utilised. The guard is nailed on. The fore-stock has a hidden channel for a ramrod, cut beneath the barrel.

The pistol was found in a local flea market 30 years ago, bought from a dealer who acquired items from surrounding farms. The stock has some age to it and the fact that the trigger guard is nailed-on suggests that it was assembled a very long time ago, perhaps for use as a bird scarer, but this is just speculation."

Copy and photos supplied by Brian Godwin.

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