A Good Pair of Flintlock Holster Pistols by Bumford of London. With swamped browned barrels, engraved LONDON within a scrolling border and stamped with London proofs and Bumfords barrel smiths mark ‘IB’, border engraved tangs decorated with scrolling foliage, border engraved locks, signed in script below the pants and fitted with sliding safety catches, cocks decorated en suite, full-stocked in walnut with raised floral mouldings around the tangs and tear-drop shaped mouldings around the tail of the locks, brass mounts comprising scrolling side-plate, long-eared butt caps with grotesque masks, border engraved trigger guards decorated with stands of arms on the bows with acanthus leaf finials, turned ramrod pipes with brass tipped ramrods. In nice clean condition, the brass retaining the lovely mustard colour.
These pistols are from Kimmerghame, by Duns, the family home of the Swinton family.
Captain Archibald Swinton (1731-1804) was a Scottish surgeon that went to India in the service of the East India Company. He reached Madras in 1752 and took part in the campaigns being waged between the French and English Companies for supremacy in the south. He also took part in an expedition 1756-57 to Negrais in Burma, arriving at Ganjam in Eastern India in 1759 and from there went on to Calcutta. During this time he also transferred from being a surgeon to an ensignship in the Company’s Bengal army.
When Archibald Swinton left the Company’s service at the end of 1765, he also left India with an unprecedented mastery of the Persian language, local customs and strong relationships with the Mughal nobility. Swinton was a very early collector of Indian and Mughal art and on returning to Scotland he brought with him a substantial collection Indian paintings, works of art, ivories, arms, jewels, Persian books and silver and jade handled daggers. This is documented in family papers.
These pistols are also dated to the same period that Captain Archibald Swinton (1731 - 1804) was serving in India and it is also possible that they could have accompanied him on his journey.
John (2) Son of John (1) Apprentice to Thomas Hardwell, 1735; free of Gunmakers Co. and proof piece, 1742. Elected Assistant, 1746; Master, 1751, 1756. Gunmaker, at the Sign of the Golden Blunderbuss, Minories, 1754-9. Minories, 1759-68; 8 George Street, Minories, 1769-74. Contractor to Ordnance, 1756-71; East India Co., 1745-73; Hudson Bay Co., 1757-75. Died 1775.
Howard L. Blackmore (1986) Gunmakers Of London, 1350-1850. George Shumway Publisher. USA.
Bore: 20 Bore
Barrel Length: 7.75 Inches (19.68 cm)
Overall Length: 13.5 Inches (34.29 cm)