Pistols At Dawn
Back in the 17th Century, an unsavoury incident appears to have taken place on St Aubin’s Bay in Jersey. Either that or an officer inexplicably lost his pistol on the beach. For a handgun with an unusual wheel-lock mechanism which dates back to the English Civil War was discovered at low tide by metal detectorist Tony Collins. “I wasn’t expecting to find anything in that particular location,” he said. “There was nobody else on the beach and when I pulled it out of the sand and at first I wasn’t sure what it was. But when I knocked some of the encrustation off I saw the barrel and immediately realised it was significant.” Despite being centuries old, much of the rare pistol’s original material is still intact thanks to the low oxygen content of the black sand in which it was buried. Neil Mahrer, conservator at Jersey Heritage, acknowledges the importance of the find, “We find quite a lot of weapons from later periods but this is the first one I have seen from this age, and with the metal still intact. It is a very special object.” Work will now commence to restore the pistol, and once complete, Mr Collins hopes it will go on display. Best take it one step at a time Mr Collins. After all no need to jump the gun.