These cased sets were common to
the gentry of both England and America during the late 18th to early
19th century. Silver mounted sets were a
sign of wealth and status. Sets like these
were most often made in London or Birmingham and were the
culmination of 20 or 30 specialists each doing a small portion of
the work. Cased sets usually came with cleaning and loading
accessories fitted in the case.
Even though dueling was illegal in England
and America, it was still practiced among the 'gentlemen', politicians and
military officers of the time. (Something we may want to see continued today in
some cases) Rules of honor were established and eventually written down in the
"Code Duello" by the early 19th century. (Duels among the lower classes were
usually considered 'brawls')
On this set, everything but the barrels,
locks, oil bottle and case hardware were made in my shop. They are styled after
a set by Wogdon of London circa 1775. The lock parts were cast off the
original locks. They are silver mounted in curly
English walnut. The touch holes, bands at the barrel breeches and the lock
inlays are 24K gold. The lock pans are lined with 24K gold as well. The
swamped damascus barrels are 11" long and are 24 bore (.58 smoothbore). The case is
walnut lined in green wool baize.
Included are a walnut cleaning rod, bullet mold, leather covered flask,
screwdriver, spring vice, pan brush and
pewter oil bottle.
"In my opinion,
this is the finest set of dueling pistols made in America in recent history."
Ed Rayl, barrel maker-West Virginia
Cased pistols prices start at $12,000 for a
plain pair. A set as pictured below would run $50,000 as they
constitute about 700 man-hours to produce plus the almost 3 oz of