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Pair of Queen Anne Flintlock Pistols
by James Willmore, Circa 1740
This pair of Queen Anne Style English flintlock pistols have turn-off barrels that resemble cannons. The walnut stocks have relief carvings around the barrel tang, silver escutcheon and silver side plate. The butt-caps are silver and feature grotesque masks. "WILLMORE" is engraved on the top of the breech. Three proof marks are stamped on the bottom of the breech. Two are oval shaped, a Crown over a "GP" (the gun-makers proof) and a Crown over a "V" (the "view mark"). The third is a Crown over the letter "F" for "foreigner". "LONDON" is engraved on the lower side of the breech.
Overview
Type: Pocket / Belt Pistol
Style: Queen Anne Flintlock Pair
Country: England
Overall Length: 9 1/2 inches
Barrel Length: 4 inches
Weight: 15 ounces
Bore: .455 inches, Smooth
Stock: Walnut, Ball Butt style

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James Willmore
James Willmore was a maker of firearms in London from 1715 to 1775. He was also one of the early makers of rifled barrels in England. (1) (2)

Willmore was not a freeman of the Gunmakers Company and his premises in Leicester Fields, London, were frequently searched for unproved firearms. (3) The designation "F" (for foreigner) was a stamp of the Gunmakers Company of London which was struck on any barrel proved by them but which had been made by someone other than a member of the Company. (1)

According to Blackmore (3), Willmore was appointed, by royal warrant, Gunmaker-in-Ordinary to the King in 1740, with a grant of lodgings in Whitehall. The designation Whitehall, in 1740, would have referred to an area of London in which the buildings of the Palace stood. As a gunmaker-in-Ordinary to the King (in this case George Il), James Willmore was either on the establishment or a member of the Royal Household. He drew an annual retainer as well as being able to charge for work done.

In addition to the pistols shown here, four additional firearms by Willmore are known to exist. A double-barreled flintlock gun in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle (3). A pair of Queen Anne pistols that appeared in the Clay P. Bedford exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (4) (currently in the collection of John Chalapis) and a single Queen Anne pistol in the collection of Gary Kraidman. I have relied heavily on the research of Mr. Kraidman (1) for the information presented here.

References
(1) James Willmore of London by Gary Kraidman, Pages 92-99
Arms Collecting Vol. 14, No. 3 (Aug. 1976), Museum Restoration Service, Bloomfield, Ontario

(2) English, Irish, and Scottish Firearms Makers, by Arthur Merwyn Carey, W. & R. Chambers (1954)

(3) Royal Sporting Guns at Windsor, by Howard L. Blackmore, Her Majesty`s Stationery Office (1968)

(4) Flintlock Pistol (Bedford #1530), Pages 59 and 60
Early firearms of Great Britain and Ireland from the collection of Clay P. Bedford, New York Graphic Society, Greenwich, Conn (1971)


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