Duelling Pistols at Bonhams: Objects of Beauty and Death

A Very Fine Pair Of 30-Bore Flintlock Duelling Pistols By Robert Wogdon, London, Circa 1785 made for the Duke of Bedford.

It was indeed a dueling pistol made by the Robert Wogdon of London gunsmith company that killed Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in 1804 in Weehawken, New Jersey.  Usually the goal of the honorable duel was often not so much to kill the opponent as to restore one's honour by demonstrating a willingness to risk one's life for it. Even though it was illegal after the 17th century, one was rarely persecuted. This late April a dozen pairs of dueling pistols, including a set made by Robert Wogdon of London - by far the most synonymous manufacturer of dueling pistols, will go on the auction block at Bonhams. The set of pistols are expecting to fetch between £2,500 to £60,000 as "items of historical interest and fine workmanship, not death and destruction." And o' how glorious these pistols are in their intricate perfection - objets d'art that were once symbols of masculinity, honor, and inevitable permanence. Dueling Pistols at Bonhams: Objects of Beauty and Death will go on sale Wednesday 20 April 20 in Knightsbridge. www.bonhams.com