A Cased Pair of Westley Richards Officers Pistols. With browned sighted octagonal barrels, signed ‘Westley Richards, 170 New Bond Street,’ along the top flats, case-hardened scroll engraved breech plug with platinum line and plug, scroll engraved tang with rear sights, scrolling foliate engraved locks and hammers, retaining much original finish, fitted with sliding safety catches, full-stocked in walnut (one pistol with small crack infant of the lock) cut with a band of chequering at the grips, blued mounts comprising foliate engraved trigger guards and turned ramrod pipes, captive ramrods. In original lined and fitted case, the lid with trade label, with accessories. The case has a slight warp to the lid.
Richards, William Westley & Westley (son) [1812-1872]
William Westley Richards was born in Birmingham, England in 1788 of a family of merchants and silversmiths. In 1812 he established a gunsmiths shop at 82 High Street, Birmingham, selecting his gunsmiths from the already thriving gun trade in Birmingham. His first production was high-grade flintlock fowling pieces. In 1813 he was an active petitioner in establishing the Birmingham Proof House through an act of Parliament.
He had the foresight to realise that he had to have a London outlet for his firearms, as the London market was by far the largest, and also for possible export trade to the Continent.
He chose the most fashionable quarter of London, a street made famous as the resort of the luxury class to which his guns appealed. The establishment was opened in 1815 at the then numbered 170 Bond Street.
A. Merwyn Carey (1954) English, Irish and Scottish Firearms Makers, Acro Publishing Company, New York.
William Westley Gunmaker, Birmingham from 1812. Retail shop (with William Bishop as agent) 170 New Bond Street.,1826-72; 25 Lawrence Pountney Street., 1853-5. Gunmaker to Prince Albert. Died 1865. Firm then run by son, Westley Richards.
Howard L. Blackmore (1986) Gunmakers Of London, 1350-1850. George Shumway Publisher. USA.
These pistols were sold at Sworders Auctioneers - LOT 447. They made £7440 when they were original sold in 2008.