Auction alert: Dueling pistols by John Blanch, London…

Now I know these duelers aren’t doubles, but there are two of them and they are cool. So that’s good enough for me. I’ve always been fascinated by dueling pistols, and this pair of Blanch’s caught my eye when I was up at Poulin Auctions looking over the lots on their Spring 2019 sale.


LOT 3379: JOHN BLANCH CASED FLINTLOCK SET OF DUELING PISTOLS: Cals. both approx. 64. NSN. Bbls. 8″ oct. Bbls. are very attractively patterned w/ top flat marked “London” in script. Engraved bbl. tangs. Silver inlaid single breech bands & touch hole surrounds. Ornately engraved original hammers & locks marked in front of hammers “J. BLANCH”. Locks & hammers show areas of vivid case colors. Dark finished iron trigger guards, entry thimbles & bbl. thimbles. Silver escutcheon plates & bbl. pin escutcheons. Screws are attractively engraved. Wooden ramrods w/ brass tips. Fine checkering surrounds the grips. John Blanch started business in London in the year 1809. This fine pair of guns was likely made early in his career given the fact they remain in original flint. The workmanship is exquisite & the attention to detail astonishing. Many, if not all, original tools & accessories still exist w/ this comprehensive cased set. A name plate attached to the inside center of the box reads “J.R.F. BURNETT VAUXHALL.” likely the original owner of this fine set. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: wooden case containing an ebony mallet, tin containing extra flints, brass lead ladle w/ screw-on ebony handle, bullet mold, sm. knife, powder flask, wad cutter, ivory & steel touch hole cleaner, spring clamp, approx. 30 rnd. lead balls, ebony cleaning & loading tools, 2 paper wrapped cartridges, oiler, ebony pan brush, ebony handled screw driver & other various tools & appendages. The case measures 17 3/4″ x 10 3/4″ x 3″. It has a rnd. brass escutcheon on the top & an interior name plate. The inside is lined in emerald green cloth that appears original to the set. CONDITION: pistols generally show very light use w/ minor dings & scratches to the wood. Most metal parts show original finish w/ no oxidation or notable wear. Near excellent bores. Accessories show use but have been well cared for during this set’s nearly 200 year life. (01-15763/BF). ESTIMATE: $2,500-5,000

BTW: This is how a pair of pistols like this would have been used.

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