Object Title

Flintlock breech-loading repeating pistol - Lorenzoni pistol

Flintlock breech-loading repeating pistol - Lorenzoni pistol


about 1795

Object Number



Made c1795. Purchased privately in 1979.

Physical Description

Operating on the Lorenzoni principle, with back-action lock and a rotating breech drum having cavities for bullet and powder charge and cocking and loading lever on the side of the gun. This is rotated (under-hand) half a turn forwards and then backwards using gravity assist to load, prime, and cock in a similar fashion to the much later Volcanic design. A lug on the drum effects cocking and pan closure, whilst the gun is primed by means of a spindle projecting from the drum itself containing a small trough for priming powder (into which the vent is drilled). There is a small magazine (with spring-loaded trap-door for charging) for this purpose built under the frizzen, whilst the main powder and ball magazines lie within the body of the weapon in an over and under configuration. A spring-loaded trapdoor on the left side facilitates loading of these. On the return stroke, the ball is dropped into the breech, and the charged powder chamber rotated into position behind it. Witness holes are provided top and bottom. The barrel is threaded at the breech for removal for storage in the case, which is lined with green baize and contains bullet mould, powder flask, barrel spanner and turn-screw. The twist barrel is octagonal with a browned and etched finish, with a folding front sight. The piece is engraved overall with foliate designs and trophies of arms. The cover/retaining piece on the left side of the drum, the priming magazine door, and the trigger guard are fire-blued.


Joining, Bluing, Forging, Filing, Wood carving, Printing


BarrelLength10.71 in
BarrelLength272 mm
OverallLength18.82 in
OverallLength478 mm
OverallWeight1.75 kg
OverallWeight3.86 lb


Serial Number None visible


.51 in

Inscriptions and Marks

Owner's mark
Case handle (lid).
Owner's mark
Family crest for the Souths of Wiltshire (A dragon's head per pale or and vert, ducally gorged az. vomiting flames ppr.)
Grip escutcheon plate
Maker's mark
‘H.W. Mortimer, Gun Maker, To His Majesty; 89 Fleet Street, London; Wholesale, Retail, & for Exportation’.
Case lid (inside)
Maker's mark
‘H.W. Mortimer. London. Gun Maker to His Majesty.’
Body (right side)


Bibliographic References

A V B Norman and G M Wilson, Treasures from the Tower of London, Norwich, 1982: