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An Original Breitling Chronograph Wristwatch, c.1941This is a genuine and stunning WW2 Breitling chronograph - Not a fake.
Leon Breitling, the inventor of the modern chronograph, was always concerned with the manufacture of functional instrument grade watches for professionals. His watches were often sought out for military consumption, but civilians also found themselves in need of these mechanical marvels. In the earlier years of Breitling, many of their chronographs were sold without any brandname - After all, Breitling was not a household name back then. Sold unmarked, most of these quality watches became unattributed utilitarian tools. Of those that were labelled, some were given the name, "Montbrillant." Today, those early examples are in high demand by investors, as are any genuine vintage Breitlings. The only caveat as always, is to be aware of forgeries. Fortunately, I can guarantee from the outset that this is the real deal.
Nevertheless, to be 100% satisfied that any watch is a genuine Breitling, collectors are urged to study key Breitling features to become competent at identifying authentic timepieces. These correct features will help to confirm a watch's heritage, but an absence of them will not automatically rule out Breitling connections. Here we have several confirming characteristics that leave no room for doubt as to this chronograph's authenticity. Such early Breitlings rarely appear this well marked; all triple signed on the case, dial and movement. This is the best way of guaranteeing the provenance of these chronographs and having peace of mind:
1. Many vintage Breitlings have a serial numbers on the case back. If present, this must be machine pressed onto the back of the case, not engraved, crooked or hand stamped. In this instance, the number 446,878 can be attributed to c.1941, but by the end of WW2 the serial numbers had risen into the 560,000 range... And, 635,000 by 1946.
2. Breitling watch dials may or may not be named. Here the "Breitling" name is written in script, which is correct for the era.
3. The inside of the case back is finely impressed with the words, "Breitling Ltd. Swiss" The use of the term 'limited' seems to have been only used on the earliest identifiable timepieces.
4. Using another small type face, Breitling have also used a fine rotary engraving tool to apply the "Breitling Ltd. Swiss" legend to the movement. Forgers rarely have access to a variety of engraving and stamping machines. These tools are prohibitively expensive... Their work consequently; will fail to have the same clarity as found on genuine factory marked examples, will be off-centre and, should an identical engraving template be used on the movement and the case back, this too should give rise to suspicion.
In this instance, this watch can without any doubt, pass any Breitling inspection as genuine.
Overall this watch is in stunning condition, showing little sign of service use, with no case restoration and perfectly fitting case parts. Most of the factory finish remains showing only the lightest signs of age and use, commensurate with the rest of the watch. The dial is likewise in outstanding condition, with just a hint of ageing. The hand-set is also correct, all perfectly matched to the dial, but, given the dial's amazing condition, I am unable to entirely rule out the possibility that the dial may have been professionally refurbished at some point in the past, or possibly even replaced by Breitling - It's incredibly good.
Internally the watch works in the manner of other two pusher chronographs, with start, stop, restart or reset options. Timekeeping is excellent and the watch was, according by its previous owner, serviced 3 years ago.
A super watch, which quite possibly served among the armed forces. Presented on a new WW2 style army green webbing band.
Code: 50692Price: 890.00 GBP
Manhattan Arms .36" Pocket Navy Revolver, c.1862Established by a group of savvy business men in 1856, the Manhattan Firearms Company took advantage Colt's expiring firearm patents and produced their interpretation of their rival's best selling revolvers. Production of their arms began immediately at the Manhattan facility in Norwich, Connecticut, but within a few years their factory moved to premises in Newark, New Jersey.
Predominantly, Manhattan Arms concentrated their efforts on the famous Colt Model 1851 Navy and Model 1849 Pocket revolver models: The revolver offered here, is an excellent example of their .36" Pocket Navy percussion revolver. It features the Manhattan 10 slot cylinder, which allows their revolver to be carried safely, fully loaded with the cylinder locked and no live chamber under the hammer. This was a positive step to ensuring greater gun safety and, whilst the company did not have any government contracts, their arms were selling well during the civil war and on the civilian market. By the time that Manhattan Arms finally ceased trading in 1873, a total of around 175,000 various pistols had been produced.
This Navy revolver is presented in full working order, with much original finish. Sharp lines and a good amount of cylinder scene are all very evident. Likewise, the bright bore is in excellent condition. All matching numbers and prefect grips, make this a superb collectors piece.
Barrel length = 4 inches
Overall length = 9.5 inches
Code: 50691Price: 1200.00 GBP
English Oak, Revolver Gun Case, c.1860A good original English gun box that would have once held a revolver. However, since then it has been relined and compartmentalised to hold two small pocket type pistols. Fortunately this work has not impacted on structural integrity of the case, which could be relined again to a higher standard. All screw heads are in good order and most are untouched.
The box itself is in good order with solid brass hinges and lock, but no key. All the sides are intact, but there is a minor splits to the case lid on the top panel (as shown). This is minor and is not immediately obvious.
Internally the box measures 11.5" x 5.75" x 1.6" (inches). The external measurements are 13" x 7" x 2.5."
Code: 50690Price: 250.00 GBP
Cavalry Officer's Holster Pistol By H. Nock, c.1800Made and signed by Henry Nock, this large flintlock is of carbine bore and would have been made c.1800. Its size and style suggests that it was a holster pistol of military type, probably carried by a cavalry officer. It has the regulation length barrel, bored to .65" calibre and the pistol also features a captive ramrod. It is generally in very good and sleepy condition, showing minor signs of service wear and just one old loss to the stock at the fore end. A hand inscribed letter, "B," is also evident, having been no doubt applied to the butt by the armoury.
A good example overall, presented in sleepy untouched condition.
Early Brander 25 Bore Duelling Pistol, c.1770An attractive 25 bore holster or duelling pistol of early style, signed "Brander, Minories London." William Brander is recorded as being at 70 Minories, between 1765-87, during which time he was joined by his son, Martin, as an apprentice gun maker. Interestingly, this pistol bears the initial stamp "MB" on the barrel. Martin later took over from his father and founded the partnership of Brander & Potts in 1802. Just like his father, he was a contractor for the East India Company, as well as to the Board of Ordnance. Martin Brander also joined the Honourable Artillery Company.
Converted from flintlock to percussion, using the early drum and nipple conversion, this pistol has seen extended service, but has always been very well looked after, as indicated by the condition of the nickel silver mounts, which now have a pleasant age patina. These mounts comprise of; an early long eared butt cap finished with a cast grotesque mask, trigger guard with finely engraved acorn finial and bearing unidentified family crest of a crossed, bow, arrow and quiver.
Overall the pistol is in lovely condition, having strong springs and a working lock - although the nipple is a little short. The warmly coloured full stocked woodwork has most of its original finish, with just minor bumps, compliments the swamped barrel and horn tipped ramrod.
An attractive example in all respects.
Barrel length = 10 inches
Overall length = 15.5 inches
Code: 50676Price: 790.00 GBP
A Fiscal Officer's Scottish Flintlock By J. Thomson, c.1770An important flintlock pistol formerly used by the judiciary in Scotland. Made by John Thomson of Edinburgh, c.1770, this 36 bore pistol bears the property mark, "F.O.S.," relating to the "Fiscal Of Stirling." Additional "No.4" marking and other court or ward references of, "C1" and, "245," also exist to the side of the woodwork, which give scope for more extensive research into what is a rare overcoat flintlock pistol, from Scotland's ancient Fiscal Office.
The "Fiscal Office" has in fact existed since Medieval times, yet despite their long history, little information exists about the lawmen who undertook their legal duties under the direction of a sheriff. Scholars suggest that fiscals initially operated as tax and fine collectors, but by 1434, after the king appointed the first Procurator-Fiscal, their responsibilities had already started to broaden, and were continuing to evolve into something akin to their modern counterpart.
Usually employed by the hierarchy of their city, some fiscals are known to have entered into office by paying an incumbent for their title, but not withstanding their means of appointment, the fiscals appear to have held a reputation for being professional crime investigators, in both petty and violent crimes matters. Perhaps their singularly most dominant role involved the interviewing and recording of witness' Precognitions (statements/testimonies). These precognitions would then be scrutinised to weigh up whether sufficient evidence existed with which to instigate the arrest of a felon, proceed with a charge, or otherwise compel a defendant to come before the Sheriff's [Magistrate's] Court by way of summons. In return for their services they were awarded a modest salary, with the rest of their pay being made up from a share of the fines collected. A conscientious city fiscal was never a poor man.
At the start of the 18th century when the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1701 was passed, the fiscals were granted status as prosecutors for the Crown within the Sheriff's Court. They were also allowed to undertake private prosecutions, for which they charged a fee. A later, Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1867, gave the Procurators-Fiscal full responsibility in law for the prosecution of all criminal acts in Scotland, even when pursuing cases through the higher courts.
Typically the work of a fiscal was a respected occupation, but if it was ever necessary to remove an inefficient fiscal, the town council had the power to do just that. One such incident was recorded in 1766, where the fiscal of Dumfries was dismissed by the council due to his, "Inattention and negligence," but the record also elaborates that it was on grounds, "Owing mostly to his old age." Most usually though, a diligent fiscal could remain in office until they voluntarily relinquished their post. The one duty that the fiscal was not expected to perform however, was that of routine patrolling. This was the job for the Watchmen, until the arrival of the police.
Interestingly, Glaswegians were very accepting of their first Scottish constabulary, which emerged on their streets in 1779. Unfortunately though, due to a lack of funding, the small force of about 8 constables existed for just a few years. Nevertheless, in 1800 the Glasgow City Police returned and the new constables were again able to foster trust by working with the community for society's benefit. This welcome attitude was in contrast to the distrust that the new police faced in London, 29 years later.
From ledgers dating from the mid to late 1700's, the names of every prosecuting authority are recorded onto the court extracts under the heading of, "Pursuers." Next to the pursuers are the names of the "Defenders," together with a case number where more information could be found relating to each specific proceeding. So, what is noteworthy about these records is that of all the crown pursuers who use their town or city name, it is only those cases brought about by the most important Scottish cities, Edinburgh and Stirling, that identify themselves using full legal parlance. Thereby, cases bought about by Stirling, being the former capital city of Scotland, are represented in extracts as prosecutions by the, "Fiscal Of Stirling." This indeed is the term engraved onto the muzzle of their pistol, abbreviated to just the three letters, "F.O.S." Perhaps being the last words that a felon might read?
Offered complete, this flintlock has some service wear and bruising to the woodwork yet the action is working, together with the sliding safety. All markings on the unusually stout and heavy barrel are sharp, and a silver cap finishes the fore end, together with what is believed to be the original wooden ramrod.
All in all, a significant discovery from the early years before policing began in Britain.
Barrel length = 4 inches
Overall length = 9 inches
Code: 50677Price: 1495.00 GBP
Rare William IV Enfield Coastguard Pistol, c.1831An early and rare Enfield signed Coastguard pistol, bearing William IV King's Crown marking, plus a Board of Ordnance mark and a plethora of inspector's stamps, c.1831.
This pistol has seen much service use, yet the action is still working with strong springs. However, at some point in the past the pistol has undergone armoury repairs to the hammer, together with the addition of a raised foresight, and a replaced ramrod. Fortunately all of this previous work could be improved with little effort - So, selling as is, or for remedial attention.
A rare WR Coastguard pistol with good marking and plenty of potential for improvement.
Barrel length = 5 inches
Overall length = 12 inches
Code: 50689Price: 450.00 GBP
Customs Officer's Brass Barrelled Flintlock By Barnett, c.1810A very good Customs Officer's flintlock by Barnett, being of a rare pattern with brass barrel of approximately 25 bore. Made c.1810, the pistol is fully functioning with a strong action and superb cosmetic appearance, with age patina and overall sleepy, damage free condition - Plus, original ramrod.
Such pistols may have been carried on one of the Customs' cutters that operated at sea, in an attempt to trap smugglers before coming inland. The presence of such cutters might well have caused traffickers to dump their cargoes, rather than risk the heavy penalties involved in their illicit trade.
Made by the best known supplier of arms to the Board of Customs, this Barnett pistol's provenance is guaranteed genuine, with a correctly impressed "Customs" mark. John Edward Barnett contractor to the Customs and Ordnance, c.1810-1842.
An excellent find for the collector.
Barrel length = 8 inches
Overall length = 13.5 inches
Code: 50683Price: 1795.00 GBP
Barnett Coastguard Pattern Flintlock Pistol, c.1822Formed in 1809 by the Board of Customs, the Preventive Water Guard had a remit to stop the smuggling trade. However, after those successful formative years, in 1816 the institution responsible for overseeing the work of the PWG was handed to the Treasury, who were themselves heavily influenced by the needs of the Board of Trade, which resulted in the PWG concerning itself mostly with revenue collection. This led again to government intervention in 1822, amidst allegations of inefficiency.
"The Preventive" were now returned to the control of Customs, who renamed them the, "Coastguard," reinstating their primary task as a proactive anti-smuggling authority.
This Barnett flintlock is one of those early Coastguard pattern pistols, made c.1822, which would have been carried during patrols along the British coast: Interestingly, a lock from one of these pistols was recovered a few years ago in relic condition, near to Margate beach. The final image shows that lock (not included in the sale), which had lain undisturbed in a ready position, half cocked with pan down... A poignant relic.
A fascinating law enforcement pistol from a violent period in history.
Barrel length = 4.5 inches
Overall length =
Pocket Percussion Pistol By Parker, Field & Sons, c.1845A gentleman's large bore percussion pistol by Parker, Field & Sons. Made c.1845, this pistol is of plain construction without adornment, apart from a vacant escutcheon to the bag shaped grip. Possibly indicting that this may have been made for service use - quite unlike Parker's usual elaborate commercial grade guns. Typically the pistol is engraved with the maker's details on the barrel, which turns off and is of approximately of 45 bore. The box lock action is mechanically in good working order, with strong springs and bearing London proofs.
Showing signs of extended pocket carry, this pistol has surface wear to its finish, including scrapes and scuffs to the grips, but no cracks or loss of wood.
Overall a good pocket pistol by a celebrated maker, known as a contractor to the government and supplier of police equipment.
Barrel length = 3 inches
Overall length = 7.5 inches
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