GARDEN & SON, LONDON
A SCARCE .650 PERCUSSION PISTOL FOR THE POONAH IRREGULAR HORSE, no visible serial number,
circa 1850, with browned round 9in. barrel signed GARDEN & SON, 200 PICCADILLY LONDON' on the flat sighting plane, bead fore-sight, squared patent breech, standing notch rear-sight to the top-tan, border and scroll engraved lock marked 'POONAH IRREGULAR HORSE', engraved hammer, walnut full-stock (cracked through and repaired in antiquity), chequered grip, nickel furniture including cast lions-mask butt-cap, trigger-guard and nose-cap and captive iron ramrod
Provenance: Garden pistols were purchased by the Indian officers and NCOs of elite irregular horse units of the East India Company's army, at a cost of 56 rupees a pair (approx. 120 shillings). These troops purchased their own arms of approved pattern and supplied their own horses but were paid much more than native troops who were issued with arms and equipment like their British counterparts. These pistols were made to very high quality and have advanced features such as the break off breech normally found on target and duelling pistols of the period. This pattern of pistol was quite widely purchased by the famous Scinde Irregular Horse but only about 100 weapons (50 pairs) were issued to the Poonah Horse and so marked.
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