The letters BCP, for Birmingham Company Proof, appear on the barrels of a pair of mid-19th century lady’s pistols on offer at Peege in Freiburg for €300. They indicate that the weapons were safe to fire.
Reputable manufacturers were keen to protect their good name by submitting their weapons to strenuous safety tests. To this purpose the Birmingham Proof House was established by act of parliament in 1813 and financed solely by the local gunsmiths. Such tests were voluntary and became compulsory only in 1868.
The matching pair of pistols, engraved with the name T Charasse, comes with the original wooden case and the necessary accessories, such as powder flask, firing caps and lead shot.