September 26, 2018 O'Connor's Americana Collection
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/26/2018
Archibald Montgomerie (1726 - 1796) was the 11th Earl of Eglinton, a Scottish General, and a member of the British Parliament. He was Clan Chief of the Clan Montgomerie and fought in the French and Indian War and served with George Washington. Montgomerie joined the army at age 13 and when the Seven Years War broke out, he formed Montgomerie's Highlanders, the 77th Regiment of Foot. In 1757, the regiment traveled to the American colonies and was put under the command of General Amherst. In 1758, he and his regiment fought with George Washington and Henry Bouquet in the Fort Duquesne Expedition. Montgomerie went on to defeat the Cherokees in 1760 at the Battle of Etchocy, then fought at the Battle of Havana in 1762. The regiment went on to New York City in October of 1762. Montgomerie may have left New York to return to Scotland at this time. However, the regiment then saw action at the Battle of Bushy Run in August of 1763. Between 1767 and 1795, he was the colonel of the 51st Regiment of Foot and fought in the French Revolutionary War. He became a Major General in 1772, a Lieutenant General in 1777, and finally, a Full General in 1793. These pistols, bearing Archibald Montgomeries crest on the silver wrist escutcheons, were first sold in the Dowell's Eglinton Castle sale, then as part of the December 1925 sale as lot 934. They were also part of the W. Keith Neal Collection before being sold by Sotheby's in London on December 17, 1974 as lot 65 and part of the G. Renwick collection. They were then purchased at Little John's in California in November of 1998 by Walter O'Connor. A single pistol from this pair is shown on page 166 of "British Gunmakers Messrs Griffin & Tow and W. Bailes: 1740-1790" by W. Keith Neal and D.H.L. Back. On page 18, text includes a listing of all arms in the Eglinton Castle auction by McDowell's in December of 1925, where these pistols are listed. The pistols themselves feature two-stage smoothbore steel barrels with swamped muzzles. The tops are inscribed "W. Bailes London" and both have gold maker's marks at the breech, as well and British view and proof marks. Other features include hooked breeches, silver spider front sights, and chiseled and scroll engraved tangs. Both have flat lockplates and cocks, both with finely chiseled scrolls and borders, lockplates are marked "W. BAILES" in banners. Relief cast sterling silver furniture hallmarked for 1760 and profusely chased and engraved. Left sides feature pierced and engraved belthooks in the Scottish style mounted on the sideplates, which are original to the pistols. The bottoms of the pommels both have a small silver escutcheon with a steel lanyard ring. The silver wrist escutcheons are engraved with Archibald Montgomerie's crest and feature a helmet, cannon, and sword. The pistols have partially figured walnut stocks with flat panels on each side of the grips, relief carved shells around the barrel tangs, and profuse silver wire inlaid into the grips and around the entry thimbles. The backs of the grips, near the pommels, both feature a large inlaid silver plaque featuring Brittania in relief. Both pistols are complete with their original horn ramrods with horn tips of a different hue. Pistols are in very good overall condition, steel surfaces polished bright with some wear to barrels and some light freckling. Locks are in original flintlock configuration and have crisp engraving. Silver mounts show some light high edge wear. Stocks show some wear to carving around tangs, age cracks, and a couple minor losses to wire inlay. One pistol has a small piece replaced above the entry ferrule, probably done during its period of use. These incredibly historic and important high quality silver mounted pistols are by one of the premier Georgian gunmakers and have equally important and complete provenance. The provenance includes notes and letters from Walter O'Connor, auction catalogs, and information on Montgomerie.
Barrel Length
8 - 7/8"
.62 Smoothbore
FFL Status
W. Bailes
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $7,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $57,000.00
Estimate: $15,000 - $40,000
Number Bids: 29
Auction closed on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
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