Bang on the Mark—The Art of London Firearms

John Manton pistolsAndrea here, going down another research rabbit hole today . . . Cover your ears, for there could be a number of loud bangs! I recently took you through a few thrusts and parries with London’s most famous Regency swordsmen. Well, today we’re looking at London’s best gunmakers of the era.

I swear, it’s not that I’m bloodthirsty—I just find that in the hands of a master craftsman, pistols and swords are lethally beautiful works of art. For me, they are a perfect example of artisans becoming artists, and I love how the famous Prinny-pistoldesign adage “form follows function” comes to life in the hands of men like Manton, Wogdon and Egg. (At left are pistols by John Manton.)

I recently saw a small but scintillating exhibit at Met in NYC entitled The Art of London Firearms, which showcases some of the treasures from its permanent collection, which are rarely displayed. So, let me prime my pen and take a quick shot at giving you some of the highlights of the golden age of flintlock pistols . . .

Read more

A “Wogdon Affair”

Duel ACara/Andrea here,

Just the other day, I was talking to a friend of mine who lives in London, and somehow we got onto the subject of flintlock pistols. (No, no, it’s not that we are bellicose or bloodthirsty—we are both history geeks, so we often digress into arcane topics, such as dueling.) I started waxing poetic over Joe Manton, and how we Regency authors always have our heroes carry Manton firearms.

Dueling pairWell, he prompted countered that he preferred Robert Wogdon’s weapons—and in fact owned a Wogdon pistol (which he’s actually fired and says throws a bullet with frightening force.) Wogdon? The name didn’t trigger a spark.  So naturally, I had to do a little research . . .

Read more