This is a double-barrel pocket-sized flintlock pistol, made in Sydney between 1828 and 1836, and thought to be the earliest surviving firearm of colonial manufacture. The pistol is engraved with the mark of convict gunsmith Joseph Danks, a Staffordshire man who was transported for horse stealing in 1819. A rare example of a firearm made in colonial Sydney, the pistol is equally rare as a product of a fine trade carried out by a known convict craftsman.
The pistol’s former owner Andrew Swinfield inherited it from his father, John William Swinfield, and is delighted that it will be part of the Hyde Park Barracks Museum collection: ‘My father was a keen collector and former president of the Antique Arms Collectors Society. The pistol made by Joseph Danks was his pride and joy. Danks’s convict background and his colourful connection with early Sydney make the Hyde Park Barracks Museum the most appropriate place for the pistol to be exhibited’.
This acquisition was made possible by the generosity of The Copland Foundation.