Pair of Twigg & Bass Holster Pistols
A fine and rare cased pair of 16 bore Irish silver mounted flintlock holster pistols by Twigg & Bass to the 1st Regiment of Horse or 4th Royal Irish dragoon guards.
10.5in sighted two-stage blued barrels, the octagonal breech transitioning to hexadecagon and profusely inlaid in gold with key-form geometric designs and poincons, P.S over TB over VA and a second with a diamond form over BA, suggestive of the maker Pedro Esteva in Barcelona, border engraved stepped locks signed 'Twigg & Bass', full stocked with Irish hallmarked silver mounts for Dublin, to include long eared butt caps with grotesque mask butt caps, border engraved trigger guards.
Continental style stepped sideplates engraved '1st Regiment Horse' within a scroll set within a foliate spray, the back of the wrist set with a large crowned Prince of Wales feathers flanked by the motto 'Ich Dien', polished steel topped wooden ramrods.
A fine pair of pistols retaining a good amount of original finish throughout, rubbing to hallmarks with maker's mark PW.
The transition of the 1st Regiment of Horse to the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards occurred in 1788.
John Fox Twigg and John Bass formed their partnership in 1788 which lasted until Twigg's death in 1790.
It has been suggested that these pistols were made to mark the transition for the Colonel of the regiment George Ward who ultimately became Commander in Chief, Ireland.
For a pair of pistols with identical looking barrels, see the silver mounted examples by Henry Hadley in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 2018.856.13a/c.
In acknowledgement of the fine work of Esteva, Hadley has copied the design, finish and inlay of his barrels.