The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
H5263 Pistol, percussion, pepperbox, maker unknown, Great Britain, 1825-1875 (OF). Percussion pepper box revolver with six chambers set in a rotating cylinder, period mid-19th century bore 0.36, Britain (LC).. Click to enlarge.

Pistol, percussion, pepperbox, maker unknown, Great Britain, 1825-1875 (OF). Percussion pepper box revolver with six chambers set in a rotating cylinder, period mid-19th century bore 0.36, Britain (LC).

Made
The pepperbox revolver, named because it resembles a peppercorn grinder, was an innovation in handgun design in the mid nineteenth century because it not only enabled the use of four or more shots loaded and ready to fire, but it was simple, compact, light and less expensive than larger percussion revolvers. These handguns came to Australia in large quantities during the Australia gold rush.

Gold was found by European settlers at Ophir, near Orange, NSW, in 1851. It had a huge social impact on the workers of NSW, and thousands of eager prospectors deserted regular jobs to seek their fortunes in the goldfield.

Such was the influx of men into the areas where gold had been found that the police and governing authorities were not always able to ensure order. Personal and property protection were important to those who were mining, and weapons, particularly handguns, became much desired tools in the goldfields. Australian gunsmiths, mainly importers of European and North American guns rather than makers, made exceptional trade, as did emigrees from the Northern Hemisphere who brought guns to sell and trade.

Damian McDonald
Curator, 2012

Summary

Object No.

H5263

Object Statement

Pistol, percussion, pepperbox, maker unknown, Great Britain, 1825-1875 (OF). Percussion pepper box revolver with six chambers set in a rotating cylinder, period mid-19th century bore 0.36, Britain (LC).

Physical Description

Pistol, percussion, pepperbox, maker unknown, Great Britain, 1825-1875 (OF). Percussion pepper box revolver with six chambers set in a rotating cylinder, period mid-19th century bore 0.36, Britain (LC).

Dimensions

Depth

203 mm

Production

Source

Credit Line

Gift of R Rusby, 1954

Acquisition Date

13 January 1954

Cite this Object

Harvard

Pistol, percussion, pepperbox, maker unknown, Great Britain, 1825-1875 (OF). Percussion pepper box revolver with six chambers set in a rotating cylinder, period mid-19th century bore 0.36, Britain (LC). 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 30 September 2020, <https://ma.as/242659>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/242659 |title=Pistol, percussion, pepperbox, maker unknown, Great Britain, 1825-1875 (OF). Percussion pepper box revolver with six chambers set in a rotating cylinder, period mid-19th century bore 0.36, Britain (LC). |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=30 September 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.