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William Turvey (active 1742)

Flintlock gun barrel

Walnut, steel, silver (Britannia standard) | 21.0 x 6.2 x 153.5 cm (length) | RCIN 61114

  • The Carlton House inventory drawn up before 1806 has a note beside the entry for this piece saying ‘this is a very handsome Gun, the Carving on the breech extremely well executed not inferior to the style of Benvenuto Cellini and probably his work’. In fact the work is that of Andrew Dolep, a Dutchman, who worked for Prince George of Denmark in the early part of the eighteenth century. Blackmore notes that his work was renowned for its high quality and inventiveness. Among Dolep’s other clients were the Medici family in Florence and this gun bears a profile portrait of Leopold I (1640-1705), so it may originally have been intended for the Emperor’s household. The decorative mounts, which include a figure of Mars, an eagle and a figure in chains, derive from Jean Berain’s pattern book Diverses Pieces très utiles pour les Arquebuzières, printed in Paris in 1659; the motif of a bound prisoner was a common one on Dolep’s work.

    The gun was remounted in 1731-2 by William Turvey, who was contracted by the Board of Ordnance to supply guns in the 1720s; he was elected a Master of the Gunmakers’ Company in 1733, and from 1741 he also supplied the East India Company. Unusually for this date the silver mounts are Britannia standard, not a legal requirement after 1719, and suggesting a commission from a patron of high standing.

    Text adapted from The First Georgians; Art and Monarchy 1714 - 1760, London, 2014.
    Provenance

    Acquired by George IV when Prince of Wales, before 1806.

  • Medium and techniques

    Walnut, steel, silver (Britannia standard)

    Measurements

    21.0 x 6.2 x 153.5 cm (length)

    111.2 cm (barrel length)

    1.5 cm (Width) (caliber (diameter of gun))

    overall length 1531 mm; barrell length: 1120 mm; smooth bore 15.25 mm (whole object)

  • Other number(s)
    Bibliographic reference(s)

    Blackmore, H.L. 1968 Royal Sporting Guns at Windsor. London HMSO


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