Sold to a private collector for £32,000 against an estimate of £20,000-30,000, it was among a number of lots that were being sold with part proceeds being given by vendors to benefit the Arms & Armor Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Another stand-out armour lot in this west London auction was a composite north European cuirassier’s armour from the early 17th century, predominantly Dutch. From a private collection, it had been estimated to fetch £8000-12,000 and was sold to a member of the trade for £18,000.
The second-highest price of the auction was paid for an Ottoman sword, otherwise known as a Kilig, that dated from the 19th century. This was part of the Edward Radcliffe Collection of swords, many of which were loaned to Birmingham Museum where they stayed until this year. It sold for £20,000 (estimate £3000-4000) to a private collector.
A fine and rare pair of 18-bore silver-mounted flintlock over-and-under double trigger holster pistols made for Alexander Montgomerie, 10th Earl of Eglinton (1723-69) by Griffin of Bond Street (London), c.1750, took £18,000, just below estimate, to a private collector.
Montgomerie, 10th Earl of Eglinton (1723-69), was a politician, reformer and close friend of James Boswell who records his time with Doctor Johnson in his London journals of 1762-67.
Eglinton took considerable interest in national and local affairs, particularly in the welfare of his tenants, and was described as the reviver of agriculture in Ayrshire. In the family archives there is a letter to his brother stating that a duel took place between him and a Mr Bathurst with apparently no consequence of note.
However, his life came to an untimely end when he was accidentally shot by Mungo Campbell, an excise officer, on Ardrossan beach after a dispute.
Campbell was found guilty of murder at the high court of justiciary in Edinburgh on February 27, 1770, but escaped execution by hanging himself in his cell.
The 10th Earl of Eglinton was one of Griffin’s most important clients. A few pieces were sold from the armoury in July 1922 but the whole contents were sold by Messrs Dowells of Edinburgh from December 1-5, 1925. The sale included 10 sporting guns and one pair of double-barrelled holster pistols by Griffin; probably the present pair.