Daniel Moore presentation flintlock pistols – $55,000 (£46,200) at Morphy.

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Made by Daniel Moore, a maker active c.1758-1800 after he was declared a master in 1758, with solid silver mounts by John King, they had been estimated at $30,000-60,000 when offered by Morphy (20% buyer’s premium) in Denver, Pennsylvania, on November 15-16.

Moore was apprenticed to John Markby starting in 1746, free of the company in 1756. He was the Furbisher for the Tower of London in 1754 (a person who ‘furbishes’/burnishes weapons and armour as part of the production process). He was recorded in 24 Fenchurch Street and 34 Lime Street c.1767-7, and began working for the East India Company c.1790.

Part of the silver decoration has hallmarks of IK, lion passant, a leopard head, and the letter K, indicating manufacture by King in 1765.

Independently minded

This pair of pistols was owned by Edward Lloyd IV (1744-96). From 1771-74 he was a member of the General Assembly and in the Maryland State House of Representatives in 1780. He served in the State Senate in 1781, 1786 and 1791. In 1783, he was elected to the Second Continental Congress, serving until 1784.

During the American War of Independence he acquired his nickname The Patriot. His actions in the colonial militia earned him the rank of colonel, aiding the formation of the Association of Freemen of Maryland (his signature is visible in the first column of The Declaration of the Association of Freemen of Maryland) and election to the Council of Safety.

The pistols feature cocks that were replaced later on – one story goes that they were broken by children in the past. However, another more romantic telling suggests that the pistols were damaged in c.1814 when the British were in Maryland and confiscating weapons that could be used against them.

While Lloyd IV had already died at this point, the pistols occupied a revered status in the family, and the family implored the British to not seize the pistols. The officer allowed the pistols to stay but broke the hammers off to prevent their possible use.

The family home, Wye House, had already been rebuilt after being looted and burnt by the British in 1781.

The provenance from Lloyd was given by Morphy as by descent to Elizabeth Schiller; Harry Berry; to Dan Hartzler (who has written on US arms and armour).

Another pair of Daniel Moore pistols with silverwork attributed to possibly being John King is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from the collection of Giovanni Morosini, with significantly less decoration.