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Object Title

Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson

Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson

Date

1738

Object Number

XII.5843

Provenance

Purchased 12th January 1989

Physical Description

The lock and furniture of bright iron/steel finely chiselled in relief with rococo ornament; the lock with leaf scrolls and shell motifs and, appropriately, on the cock, a grotesque mask breathing fire; the furniture with scrolls incorporating grotesue masks, dolphins and fruit.


Barrel is browned and chiselled with scrolls set against a gilt ground and in a panel on the top it is signed 'SIMPSON, YORK'


The stock is extensively decorated with inlayed silver wire scrolls and engraved profiled silver panels containing a variety of ornamental features including Lion and Unicorn, Britannia, figures from classical mythology, cherubs and a snail.


The furniture and lock are secured by socket-head screws, an extremely unusual and advanced feature for its day. The pan is fitted with a safety catch to lock it in the closed position

Featured in

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall length: 56.102 in (1425 mm), Barrel length: 39.961 in (1015 mm), Weight: 2800 g

Firearms/Artillery

Serial Number None visible

Inscriptions and Marks

On the breech, adjacent to the signature, are the proof marks of the Gunmaker's Company

Associations

Bibliographic References

Royal Armouries, Royal Armouries Museum [souvenir guide], Royal Armouries, Leeds, 2000, p.25, colour ill. (right side view, stock and lock.)

Kremlin No 61G M Wilson, 'England's Finest', Country Life, 14th September, 1989, pps 226,7

Notes

It is the only known piece by William Simpson, of York, who was made a freeman of that city in 1738 and who was in business there, at Castlegate, until 1756.


It was the most outstanding piece in the gun collection of William Constable (1721-1791) of Burton Constable Hall, Yorkshire. Constable was a man of considerable artistic taste, who employed many of the most prominent designers and craftsmen of his day, including Robert Adam, Thomas Chippendale and James Wyatt.

Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson
Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson
Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson
Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson
Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson
Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson
Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson
Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson
Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson
Thumbnail image of Flintlock sporting gun - By William Simpson