Horst Held   * Antique Handguns

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T. Squires
Støckel: Thomas Squires, London, 1825 - 1831, "top hat" percussion,


nipple wrench + used to unscrew the barrel

on back strap

on butt

escutcheon on lid

on front of case



an early pair, 1825 - 1830, of T. SQUIRES LONDON marked small - pocket size / muff pistol - percussion pistols with an uncommon safety system almost like the frizzen of a flint lock, cal. 45, screw-in barrels for loading, the metal kept in the white, the frame and safety engraved, the butt cap showing a face of a beast, folding trigger, crisp checkered grip. The pair are in excellent condition.
The pair comes in a typical British case with brass corners, engraved lid, lion head over the lock, it is brownish inlaid, contains powder flask, nipple wrench which also is used to screw the barrels, a small brush with ivory handle and a replacement nipple. The lid and the butt strap escutcheons show
WHJ. With London proof stamps.
A very attractive set!   

Dear Mr Held,
I believe that your cased pistols by T Squires are examples of top hat percussion pistols (see quote from Pitt Rivers Museum below) rather than
 percussion pistols with an uncommon safety system as described.
At first it was thought that these had been older flintlock pistols converted to the new percussion system, as many guns were. This assumption was made because the striking steel (frizzen) appears to still be in place. However they are in fact a distinctive type of weapon dating to the early days of the percussion system c. 1825�35 known as �top-hat� pistols due to the shape of the percussion caps they used. The part resembling the steel is actually a spring-loaded upright retainer, designed to hold the caps in place.
Kind regards

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