A Pair of Flintlock Pocket Pistols by Goodwin & Co, c. 1810

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Item ref: 4094

  • England, Birmingham.
  • Iron alloy (steel), platinum, wood (walnut)
  • length of each pistol: 15.5 cm / 6.1 in

This charming pair of small pistols were produced by the Birmingham pistol and rifle makers George Goodwin & Co. As was the frequent practice among provincial gunmakers, Goodwin and his business partner Hayward marked their firearms ‘London’ as a marketing ploy, in the hope of boosting their sales by an implied association with the famous names of the London gun trade. A quick examination of this pair of pistols, however, reveals that their work was in fact equal to that of London makers, and the platinum lining of the priming pans in defence against powder corrosion is a testament of refinement.

A further mark of sophistication are the decorative platinum bands inlaid about the muzzles and the contrasting blued finishing of the barrels to show the inlay to full effect. Typical also of the London standard of work are the triggers folding perfectly flush with the undersides of the actions and the sliding safety-catches. The latter device additionally locks the pan-cover or ‘steel’, so enabling the pistols to be safely carried concealed, primed and loaded ready for use. The proof marks on the barrels were struck by one of several private proof houses in Birmingham, slightly prior to the the founding of the official Birmingham house in 1813 and the introduction of a new mark.

This pair of pistols are preserved in fine unrestored condition throughout.