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LOT 3418
Historic Documented Engraved, Gold Accented, and Silver Mounted Pair
of Flintlock Dueling Pistols by Haslett of Baltimore Inscribed “Jerome Bonaparte” and Attributed as a Gift from His First Wife, Elizabeth Patterson of Baltimore -A) Haslett Flintlock Dueling Pistol - Serial no. 21, 28 bore/.55 cal., 9 3/8 inch octagon bbl., brown/gold/casehardened/silver/blue finish, checkered walnut stock. James Haslett immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in 1798 and was initially the superintendent of Robert McCormick’s gunshop in Philadelphia where he oversaw production of U.S. contract muskets. He moved to Baltimore in 1803 and established his gunshop at 28 Water Street in Baltimore by 1805 where he produced high quality arms and also imported quality pieces from Europe. He eventually took his son into the firm and was operating as James Haslett & Son
by the publication of the 1829 Baltimore directory. During the War of 1812, he served as a major in the Maryland militia, provided swords, muskets, and pistols; and is known to have repaired Revolutionary War surplus arms for use against the invading British Army. He was considered to be among the finest gunmakers in our young country, and this pair of pistols certainly seems much more like the high quality pistols produced by fine makers in London than those typical of the early U.S.
The smoothbore, Damascus barrels have dovetailed silver blade front sights, “BALTIMORE” inscribed on silver inlaid ribbons with martial accents on top of the breech sections, gold bands at the breeches, and dual gold banded breech plugs with gold vent liners, gold ray inlays, and eagle head proof marks. The underside of the breechplugs have “HASLETT/No 21,” and the underside of the barrels have
“T-Y7751” (A) and “T-Y7752” (B) Irish registration marks for County Tyrone. The standing breeches include fixed U-notch sights and floral engraving. The locks
are signed “HASLETT” at center and have frizzen spring rollers, gold lined pans, sliding half-cock safeties, stepped tails, burst and floral engraving patterns, and beveled edges. The spurred trigger guards have stylized pineapple finials, martial engraving on the bows, and enclose adjustable single set triggers. The forend caps, wedge escutcheons, and “Jerome Bonaparte” inscribed wrist escutcheons are silver. The stocks are finely checkered.
The pair comes in an old fitted shipping crate with Lloyds Bank stamp and wax seal and a label that reads in part “Lady R.D. Ross” and a February 26, 1958, note about opening the case that is partially torn away. The included firearms information sheet states that the pair was a “wedding gift to Jerome Bonaparte (1784-1860) from his wife Elizabeth Patterson of Baltimore.” It also indicates
the pair were formerly in the Duane Brodersen Collection and Martin Retting Collection. It is illustrated on page 65 of “Arms Makers of Maryland” by Hartzler. The pair is also accompanied by a file of documents and information relating to Jerome Bonaparte, youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, and his marriage to American socialite and noted beauty Elizabeth Patterson (1785-1879).

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