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Old 3rd June 2021, 06:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Scotland
Posts: 108
Default Mysterious pair of pistols

Hi everybody, I recently bought a fine pair of flintlock pistols which, judging by the engraved crest on the escutcheons, originally belonged to an Earl of Lauderdale. The silver hallmark date 1721 fits the dates of the 6th Earl. The lock plate is engraved with the name 'HARVEY' on a scroll (image 3) but the barrel is stamped with the mark, PG (image 4), of another contemporary gunsmith, Pierre Gandon. However, this is not the mystery since gunsmiths frequently used barrels from other makers, often foreign ones. I initially thought that Harvey was Robert Harvey, a noted gunsmith from the early 18th century (died 1734) but on digging deeper into Robert Harvey, all the examples which I could find (12 so far) were signed ROBT HARUEY (sic) in a straight line, not on a scroll (images 7&8). So, is my Harvey a different person, or the same Harvey who has dramatically changed his style of signature? There was a Richard Harvey, a brother very likely of Robert, apprenticed to the same master, but he disappears from the record in 1709. It's possible.Further confusion arose when I found that Pierre Gandon, a Huguenot immigrant to London, had signed at least two pistols on a scroll in the same manner as my Harvey signature; the style of butt caps was also very similar to those on my pistols. Did Gandon fancy forging a Harvey signature, just different enough to avoid prosecution but close enough to fool some people into buying his work while believing they were buying pistols by Robert Harvey? The pierced silver side plates do not help as they are a standard casting to be seen on other pistols by other gunsmiths.
I would be very grateful for any suggestions. Many thanks, Neil
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