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Richard Hollis & Sons .66 calibre single shot percussion pistol probably used by bushranger Frank Gardiner

Richard Hollis & Sons .66 calibre single shot percussion pistol probably used by bushranger Frank Gardiner

Object type

Object number

Richard Hollis & Sons .66 calibre single shot percussion pistol. Back lock action with a scroll design and engraved with ''RICHD HOLLIS & SONS'' on the metal plate attached to the curved handle. "London Fine Damascus Twist" is engraved on top of the octagonal barrel and "Gardnir" has been roughly engraved above the captive metal ramming rod on the right hand side of the pistol. The front sight is a brass wedge post. The wooden stock has a chequered grip, back strap and a cap box in the rounded butt. The barrel is held to the stock by a single wedge and has a hook breech. It has a small oval escutcheon plate on the left side of the wrist. The furniture on the stock appears to be German silver. No serial number.

Collection name
Thelma Brown collection

Collection statement of significance
The Thelma Brown collection consists of a single shot, Richard Hollis & Son, 0.66 calibre percussion cap pistol, believed to have been used by Australian bushranger, Frank Gardiner, between 1850 and 1854. The pistol had been passed down through the family of the donor's late husband, Gordon Macarthur-Brown, whose ancestor was a police magistrate in Goulburn at the time of Gardiner's famous robbery of the Lachlan Gold Escort at Eugowra in 1862. It is believed that the pistol was taken from Gardiner on an earlier arrest at Yass in 1854, and the police magistrate took the pistol from Crown possession as a memento in 1862.

Frank Gardiner (real name Francis Christie) operated as a notorious bushranger in the gold regions of southern New South Wales in the 1860s. He is probably best known for commanding the daring armed hold-up of the Lachlan gold escort at Eugowra Rocks between Forbes and Orange, with accessories John Gilbert, Ben Hall and others, and making off with 2,700 ounces of gold, fetching a value of over £14,000. Defiant in the face of police who spent the next two years searching for Gardiner, he assumed legendary status in colonial Australia.

Richard Hollis & Son

Place made
Birmingham, West Midlands, England

Date made
1832 - 1840
Pistol was manufactured sometime within this period

Mr Frank Gardiner
Probably owned and used by bushranger Frank Gardiner.

Place used
New South Wales, Australia

Period of use
1850 - 1854
Probably used by Frank Gardiner during this period.

Steel, Wood, Brass

Length: 260mm
Width: 110mm
Height: 31mm

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