SOLD FOR: $2125
LSB#: 220108BV001, 220108BV002
Make: Thomas Conway of Manchester
Model: Dueling Pistol pair
Serial Number: T148, T149
Year of Manufacture: 1820s-1850s
Caliber: .40 Caliber
Action Type: Single Shot Percussion
Markings: The pistols are marked the same except for their respective serial number which is marked on the right side of the barrel. There is a proof on the left side of the barrel and on the left side of the lock. There left side of the lock is marked with “CONWAY / MANCHESTER”. The lock is scroll engraved and there is scroll engraving at the muzzle. The hammer features an engraved fish motif.
Barrel Length: 5 1/4″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a brass bead fixed to the barrel at the muzzle. The rear sight is a deep “V” notch integral to the top of the lock.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered walnut with inlaid initial plates. Each has some scattered minor compressions. There are a few little nicks on the bottoms. There are areas where the wood is slightly shy to the metal. There are more little dings and compressions on T149. There is a crack on the top of T148 at the rear of the tang. The checkering is mostly strong and intact but has some rub wear. The grips rate in about Fine condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: The barrels are twist steel. The locks are brass.
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: There is light erosion in the smoothbores, nothing major.
Overall Condition: These handguns retain about 70% of their metal finish. The barrels display a patina with some scattered little spots of minor scabbing, nicks, dings, and thinning on the edges The brass has a nice tarnish. There are some scattered little nicks and marks on the locks, the most noticeable are on the bottom around the triggers. There are some little scuffs and handling marks. The screwheads are tool marked with serviceable slots. The markings are clear. The pistols rate in about Fine condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The triggers are very stiff, we ar not sure if they are stuck in a safety notch or this is as designed. We did not fire these handguns. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: These pistols come in a one-piece hinged case with a powder flash, cap tin, and powder measure.
Our Assessment: During the reign of the percussion ignition system, it was common for civilized men to go out into a field and shoot at each other to settle disputes or avenge insults, making it common among the nobility to have a pair of pistols for just this task. This pair was made by Thomas Conway of Manchester who was active in the 1800s first surfacing around 1804 with the firm continuing to the 1880s after his passing. This pair is beautifully crafted and features scroll engraving paired with nice 5.25″ twist barrels. The pair comes stored together in a case which can house all of the paraphernelia to make them function, just in case you needed to solve things politely. These have survived the years well and would make a nice conversation piece, decoration or addition to a collection of percussion arms. Please see our photos and good luck!