A rare and very historic flintlock pistol made by William Heard of Bristol, suppliers of arms to the slave trade during the 18th century. Heard operated from No41 Redclift street, Bristol, though this was just part of the family business that not only supplied arms but also provisions to the slave traders ships. This brass barrelled pistol certainly made for a person who lived and worked on or near the sea. Its build suggests that it was made for either a trader or sea captain. The pistol is 14 inches overall, with an 8 inch two stage swamped brass barrel, of .6 bore. The barrel shows some very nice engraving with Bristol along the top edge. The walnut full stock is nicely carved around the barrel tang and is fitted with brass mounts and long eared butt cap. The brass butt cap and side plate are covered with trophy of arms symbols and show fine engraving. Original ebony ramrod with bone tip. The lock, signed Wm Heard is in fairly good condition, with only minor pitting. The working action is soft as the main spring has lost some of its strength over time, but still does the job and gives a spark. Shows ware, but that is expected.