A VERY FINE 54 BORE ROYAL BEAUMONT ADAMS FIVE-SHOT DOUBLE ACTION PERCUSSION REVOLVER BY ROBERT ADAMS, NO. 76 KING WILLIAM STREEET, LONDON, E.C., NO. 30260R, CIRCA 1860
with engraved blued octagonal sighted barrel, engraved blued top-strap with retailer's details in full, profusely engraved blued serial numbered cylinder and frame, the latter also numbered B14,596, engraved case-hardened trigger-guard and butt-cap, blued rammer, safety-stop, arbor-pin and catch, chequered rounded butt, the engraving involving a very finely executed close-set design of neo-rococo scrolls, flowers and foliage, and much original finish: in its original select quality highly figured walnut case with brass mounts, the escutcheon engraved with the initial 'A' beneath the coronet of a Prince (the lid with small cracks and staining), the interior fitted and lined in green baize (light wear), the lid with trade label for 1858-65, complete with accessories including bullet mould, powder-flask, bullet pouch, cleaning rod and oil bottle
14.5 cm; 5 ¾ in barrel
The coronet is for a Royal Prince, placing this pistol in the ownership of Queen Victoria's sons Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1844-1900) or Arthur, Duke of Connaught (1850-1942. Given their ages it would appear that Prince Alfred is the most likely.
Prince Alfred joined the Navy in 1858 at the age of fourteen. On the abdication of King Otto of Greece in 1862, he was chosen by the Greeks to succeed him, but political conventions made it impossible for the British government to accede to their wishes. Meanwhile, Alfred pursued his naval career. In 1863 he was promoted to Lieutenant and three years later to Captain. By 1893 he was Admiral of the Fleet and was a highly respected, well-informed and able fleet leader.
The superb engraving is notable and relates to other finely decorated objects of the period. It compares closely to a snuffbox marked of the slightly earlier date 1836/37) with maker's mark of Charles Rawlings and William Summers. See Culme 1977, p. 144.
£8000 - 12000 Click here for details of BP and other fees payable on this lot.