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Flint-lock pistol: M.15-1981

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Silversmith: King, John (silversmith) (Trigger guard)
Gunsmith: Henshaw, E. (Barrel, lockplate)




Brass barrel, octagonal at the breech, changing to circular. Steel flint-lock and lockplate. Butt of wood with silver furniture comprising butt-cap in the form of a grotesque mask, trigger-guard terminating in an acorn, ramrod pipe, and escutcheon in the form of a trophy of arms with script DJ or DT in monogram on the shield. Wooden ramrod with horn head.
Marks: On the top of the barrel 'E. HENSHAW. CAMBRIDGE'. On the left side 'WH', crown over V in oval punch and crown over P in oval punch. On the lockplate 'E/HENSHAW'. On the butt end of the silver trigger guard (a) Lion passant; (b) Leopard's head; (c) date letter d for 1779-80; Maker's mark I-K for John King. Makes a pair with M.16-1981.


History note: R.J. Wigington Esq., Arbour Antiques Ltd, Poet's Arbour, Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Measurements and weight

Length: 34 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Cambridge (Cambs.) ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1981-06-08) by Arbour Antiques Ltd.


18th Century, Late
Circa 1779 CE - 1780 CE


Henshaw resided at The Black Bull Inn, Trumpington Street, near St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. He died in 1794.

Components of the work

Ramrod composed of horn wood (plant material)
Butt composed of wood (plant material)
Butt Furniture composed of silver
Flint-lock composed of steel
Lockplate composed of steel
Barrel composed of brass (alloy)

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On top of barrel
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: crown over V in oval punch and crown over P in oval punch

  • Text: WH
  • Location: Left side barrel
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: E/HENSHAW
  • Location: On lockplate
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: lion passant, leopard's head, date letter d for 1779-80, and I-K for John King the maker

  • Location: On butt end of silver trigger guard
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: escutcheon in the form of trophy of arms with script DJ or DT in monogram on the shield

  • Text: DJ or DT
  • Location: On escutcheon
  • Method of creation: Inscribed

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.15-1981
Primary reference Number: 19582
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 27 November 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Flint-lock pistol" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-10 14:08:36

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{{cite web|url= |title=Flint-lock pistol |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-10 14:08:36|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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