H. TATHAM, LONDON
A GOOD CASED PAIR OF 25-BORE PERCUSSION HEAVY BELT PISTOLS, no visible serial numbers,
circa 1835, with heavy octagonal twist 5 1/2in. barrels, the top-flats signed 'H. TATHAM, LONDON', bead fore-sights, standing notch rear-sights, colour hardened breech-blocks with engraved nipple-bosses, engraved top-tangs, borderline and scroll engraved colour hardened back-action locks signed 'H. TATHAM', walnut full-stocks with chequered bag-shaped butts, blued furniture including trigger guard bows and applied belt-hooks and captive iron stirrup ramrods below the barrels, both pistol retaining a strong amount of original colour and finish and complete in their maker's oak storage case, compartmented and lined in green baize (some compartments loose) and complete with a period flask, turn-screw, wad punch and scissors mould, all probably original to the pair and with a parchment trade label inside the lid and a copy of an 1849 game licence issued to a Capt. John Shiffner, the original owner
Provenance: Three of the Rev. Sir George Shiffner's sons from the Parish of Hamsey, Sussex, entered the army, but only John, who fell in an attack on the Redan redoubt at the siege of Sebastopol on 18 June 1855, left his mark. Having been first commissioned in the 53rd regiment of Foot, 15 October 1841, he became Captain in the 34th regiment of Foot, 3 August 1849, with whom he served in the Crimea. A faded photograph of him taken on the campaign exists in the East Sussex Records Office and shows him bearded, smoking a cigar, and in the rough dress of a hardened campaigner.
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