A Pair of .500 Calibre Rifled Percussion Travelling Pistols Presented to John Boulton Constable of Birmingham.
with tapering sighted barrels rifled with eight grooves, inscribed ‘John Boulton, Birmingham’ on the flats, scroll-engraved breeches inlaid with gold lines, scroll-engraved tangs incorporating the back-sights, scroll-engraved locks, highly figured walnut full stocks, chequered butts, engraved blued iron trigger-guards, German silver escutcheons, swivel ramrods: in their fitted mahogany case lined in plum velvet, the lid with brass flush-fitting carrying handle inscribed ‘PRESENTED BY THE INHABITANTS OF BIRMINGHAM TO MR JNO BOULTON FOR HIS SERVICES AS CONSTABLE FROM OCTOBER 1838 TO OCTOBER 1839’ (lid cracked), and complete with some accessories including copper three-way flask, and cleaning rod with iron jag, together with a number of documents relating to the pistols provenance and research and a copy of the article cited below
Richard Hart, California 1954
Leith Dunham, The Constable’s Pistols, in Livrustkammaren 1957, pp. 199-201.
The cited article records that the Constables of Birmingham were presented with a pair of pistols upon their retirement from 1820-39. This tradition replaced the much criticised lavish feasts that had previously happened on the occasion of their retirement. John Boulton was Constable of Birmingham in for one year until October 1839, the regular police force being organised on 20 November of that year.
Bore: 40 Bore / .500 Calibre
Barrel Length: 5.5 Inches (14 cm)
Overall Length: 10 Inches (25.4 cm)