A cased pair of 36-bore flintlock pistols by Durs Egg, c.1816-20, estimated at £14,000-18,000 at Olympia Auctions.

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One of the stand-out English items is a cased pair of 36-bore flintlock pistols by Durs Egg, No1 Pall Mall Colonnade, London, No823, London proof marks, c.1816-20. Estimated at £14,000-18,000, they were formerly in the renowned William Keith Neal collection and were sold at Christie’s in 1995, but before Neal had a provenance back to Frederick Cass (1787- 1861) of Beaulieu Lodge, Winchmore Hill, Edmonton, second son of William Cass (1743-1819), who inherited on the death of his childless elder brother, Charles, in 1825.

A manuscript note in the case reads ‘Mem: Dec.r 15th 1826. Mr. Durs Egg, told me that these Pistols loaded with the small charge of Powder, would carry a ball 50 yds. & upwards, sufficiently strong to kill, & if loaded with two full charges of Powder, would do execution at 200 yds. & if more powder was used 300 yds. When shot is used instead of Ball put in about the weight of a Ball & a half to the usual charge of powder.’


A 10-bore flintlock duck gun by James Barbar, London, c.1755, guided at £7000-9000 at Olympia Auctions.

Another English highlight is a 10-bore flintlock duck gun by James Barbar, London, c.1755, almost certainly made for William Constable (1721-91) of Burton Constable (east Yorkshire). Also from the Neal collection, it was sold at Bonhams in 2005. It is now guided at £7000-9000.

In Great British Gunmakers 1740-1790, W Keith Neal & DHL Back, it is described as “a magnificent example, perhaps the finest to survive, of a 1755 period best large-bore steel-mounted gun”.

An invoice from Barbar of 1755-56 survives for three ‘very large bore steel mounted’ William Constable guns at £8.13.0 each. Though they are described as having a ‘bolt lock’ it seems likely this gun is one of them.


A south Indian gilt copper shield (dahl), estimated £6000-8000 at Olympia Auctions.

Among the Indian items, also shown here is a south Indian gilt copper shield (dahl), probably Hyderabad, 15th/16th century, estimated at £6000-8000.

It is embossed with five concentric circles of pointed scales, a pattern that is ‘notably unusual on Indian arms and armour’, says Olympia.