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Pepperbox Carbine

Place of Origin: INDIA

Date: 18th Century

Overall Length: 770mm

Reference: 243

Status: Sold

Full Description:

This firearm comes from a small group of known Indian guns that have multi-shot cylinders, this one being unique for having five barrels arranged in the ‘pepperbox’ fashion instead of the more common single barrel served by a revolving cylinder with multiple chambers. The dark wooden stock of this gun is facetted with a sweeping cut-away to ensure a comfortable cheek-weld—and it has all acquired a pleasing patina, as has the metalwork it adjoins. The cluster of barrels is rotated by hand and has been liberally decorated with chevrons, crescents, lines and brass bands that all terminate at a flower-shaped plate that reinforces the ends of the five barrels, creating a cinquefoil effect.

Howard L. Blackmore, the well-known and respected British academic, in his 1965 book Guns and Rifles of the World[1], publishes an almost identical revolving carbine, the main difference being that it has only four barrels. This is in the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh (No.1956.612), and is dated to the 18th century.

A matchlock musket with a four-shot revolving cylinder and other comparable aspects is published in the book accompanying the travelling exhibition Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India[2]. A further reference for our carbine can be found in our 2016 publication, page 62, catalogue number 25.


[1] H. L. Blackmore, Guns and Rifles of the World, B. T. Batsford, 1965, no.550.

[2] K. Jasol, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India, 2017, p.118, no.4.20.


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