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This comprised a pair of cased 18-bore silver-mounted flintlock holster pistols signed Lucknow Arsenal to the gilt-chiselled locks, and inscribed Lt Col Claude Martin and a near-matching 16-bore flintlock sporting gun with a similar but later inscription to the barrel. The trio was a composite rather than an actual suite, the pistols, which formerly belonged to Brigadier T. St G Caulfield, having previously gone under the hammer at Sotheby’s in 1974 (where they were bought by Ricketts for £4200).

The Lucknow Arsenal was established by Lyons-born Claude Martin in 1779. Martin joined the East India Company Forces following desertion from the French army and rose to the rank of Major General. Appointed Superintendent of Artillery and Arsenals to the Nawab of Oudh, he supervised the production of a number of fine arms made by European and native armourers. These three firearms were all conceived in the English manner, the sporting gun inlaid to the walnut stock in silver with a fox-hunting scene after Sartorious. They were carried off by an English collector at £25,000.