September 26, 2018 O'Connor's Americana Collection
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/26/2018
This fine pair of silver mounted flintlock pistols by Richard Wilson were purchased directly from the Wayne Family descendant Anthony Wayne Ridgeway by Walter O'Connor in April of 1979. An original receipt from Ridgeway is included and states that the pistols, according to family history, were the property of General Anthony Wayne and have always been at Waynesborough, where they were always displayed over the mantle. A clipping from "The Sunday Bulletin" in Philadelphia, PA dated August 14, 1960, clearly shows the pistols on the mantle of the drawing room of "Waynesborough" with a portrait of General Anthony Wayne. The photo shows his ancestor, Mr. William Wayne and the caption states that the photo shows General Anthony Wayne's "silver-ornamented dueling pistols are on the mantel". Official copies of the wills of Anthony Wayne (1797), his only son Isaac Wayne (1852), and William Wayne (1933) are included. All of them list the General's sword and pistols. After William's death, the pistols listed became the property of Anthony Wayne Ridgeway. Anthony Wayne was born in 1745 in Chester County, Pennsylvania and he died in 1796. Anthony Wayne was an important Revolutionary War officer and statesman. Wayne adopted a military career at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, where his military exploits and temper earned him a promotion to brigadier general and the nickname "Mad" Anthony Wayne. He later served as the Senior Officer of the U.S. Army and led the Legion of the United States. In his early life, Wayne worked as a tanner and surveyor after attending the College of Philadelphia. He won election to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and, in 1775 helped raise a Pennsylvania militia unit. During the Revolutionary War, Wayne served in the Invasion of Quebec, the Philadelphia campaign, and the Yorktown campaign. Wayne's reputation suffered due to his defeat in the Battle of Paoli, but he was widely praised for his heroic deeds in 1779 at the Battle of Stony Point. After the war, Wayne settled in Georgia on land that had been granted to him for his service in the Revolutionary War. After briefly representing Georgia in the House of Representatives, he returned to the Army to accept command of the Northwest Indian War. His forces defeated several Native American tribes at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, and the subsequent Treaty of Greenville ended the Northwest Indian War on terms favorable to the United States. While still on active duty, Wayne died in 1796. The silver wrist escutcheons on both pistols are inscribed "Pat.Carr", as they originally belonged to Captain Patrick (Paddy) Carr, who was notorious for hunting and killing southern loyalists throughout the Revolutionary War, especially in Georgia. Carr was well acquainted with the Indians and held a trader's license to do business with the Cherokee Nation. He ardently despised the Tory contingent, and is reputed to have killed 100 Loyalists with his own hands during the Revolution. He was a member of the band of backwoodsmen who fought Ferguson at King's Mountain and on the return trip to their homes when a group of nine Tories were captured and hanged on the spot. Carr was quoted at that moment the "he wished that all the trees in the forest could bear such beautiful fruit!" Paddy Carr apparently presented these pistols to Wayne as they served together at the end of 1781 in Georgia, after the Battle of Yorktown. He was an invaluable aid to General Wayne and late his neighbor, after being presented a large plantation for ousting the British. Carr was from Ireland and emigrated to America in 1767 or 1768, and became an Indian trader before commanding his militia of "Carr's Legion" as they were known. A passage on page 200 from "Mad Anthony Wayne" by Thomas Boyd states: "...Wayne discovered that a large party of wagons of supplies were journeying down the Ogeechee trail toward Savannah. And sending Major John Habersham, Major Francis Moore, an Captain Patt Carr forward with the red lining of their coats turned inside out, the Indians, beguiled by the British color of cloth, were met and escorted to the American camp, where Wayne faced them without disguise and began to disillusion them with regard to the strength of Sir Arnold Clarke." General Wayne, at this time, was attempting to recruit as many Indians to the American side as possible. The pistols themselves feature brass tapered barrels, swamped at the muzzles and fitted on top with silver front and rear sights. The tops are marked "LONDON" surrounded by an engraved border and the left sides have London view and proof marks, as well as "RW" for maker Richard Wilson of Minories London. The lockplates have rounded faces and tooled borders, the centers are marked "Wilson" in script. Both locks have sheet silver overlaid on their plate faces, cocks, and pans. The solid silver furniture includes sideplates featuring castle towers, arms, and flags. The triggerguard tangs and flat face of the pommel caps each have four hallmarks, including the date letter for 1771-1772 and "IK" for silversmith John Kentenber. The pommels feature relief grotesque masks. The silver wrist escutcheons feature helmets, cannons, and flags, both are inscribed "Pat. Carr" in script. The stocks are of plain English walnut and feature relief carved shells around the barrel tangs and silver end caps. The original ramrods are baleen and feature silver caps, one ramrod has the original iron worm at the tip. The barrels retain a mellowing patina and the markings are clear. The locks are in their original flintlock configuration, one retains almost all of the sheet silver, with only minor losses on the pan face, while the other has all of the silver missing from its original cock, which now retains a spotted grey patina. The silver furniture is all original and retains a mostly polished surface with some scattered minor marks, dark spots, and darker patina in protected areas. The escutcheon inscriptions are excellent and clear. Unfortunately, the pistols were professionally restocked in 2008, when the original stocks, given to a friend for repair, were stolen. The replacement stocks are accurate in form and carving and retain an well-aged finish. The pistols were photographed with their original stocks and these enlarged original photos are included, as well as a copy of the Sotheby Parke Bernet Los Angeles Auction catalog of "Fine American and European Arms and Armor" from March 25, 1979, where these pistols are photographed on page 15 as lot 50 and described on page 4 as being from the Estate of Anthony Wayne Ridgeway and considered the personal property of General Anthony Wayne of Revolutionary War fame". However, the pistols were not sold at auction, rather they were pulled and sold privately to Walter O'Connor. There is also an archive of information accompanying the pistols, including correspondence regarding the pistols between Walter O' Connor and a Carr relative, Anthony Wayne Ridgeway, and Bill Guthman. There are a great deal of copied original letters relating to Anthony Wayne and Patrick Carr, as well as copied excerpts from books relating to these two men and a great deal of additional research done by Walter on this fine pair of pistols. These historic pistols belonged to two important patriots and Revolutionary War heroes beyond being fantastic works of art.
Documents, Paperwork, Original Auction Catalog
Barrel Length
Both 10-1/8"
Both .65 Smoothbore
FFL Status
Richard Wilson
Flintlock Officer
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $15,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $39,000.00
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
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