Rare Chief’s Grade Medallion Pistol by Ketland, Early 19th C


These guns were given as gifts to Indian chiefs to cement alliances and obtain treaties. Chief’s grade medallion long guns are scarce, but the pistols are even more rare. This example by Ketland and Company, London, was originally made in flintlock, but has an early conversion to percussion. Lock plate is marked “W/KETLAND/&Cie”. Round barrel marked “LONDON”, with British GR proof marks, broad arrow, and “LEG” cartouche. Ornate brass trigger guard, butt cap, ramrod thimbles, and serpentine side plate. Silver wrist medallion depicting an Indian with feathered headdress and bow and arrow quiver. Early blue chief’s beads attached to trigger guard. Made as a prized gift, this pistol shows use and a small stock repair forward of the lock; dark age patina to wood and metal. This exact piece is pictured twice in “Ornamental Indian Artifacts” by Lar Hothem on page 384. These presentation guns were produced in low numbers, making them very rare and highly collectible.  Tom Richards Collection.