Major Pitcairn's Pistols
This brace of richly decorated metal scroll-butt pistols, made by Murdoch of Doune, were lost by Major Pitcairn on April 19, 1775. The pistols were presented as a trophy to the Colonial officer Israel Putnam who bore them on 17 June, at the Battle of Bunker Hill - where Major John Pitcairn was mortally wounded.
The pistols are displayed in the Hancock-Clarke House museum (Lexington, MA) in a glass cabinet opposite to the front entrance door. They are in a wooden case that was created some time ago to hold them. Also in this glass cabinet is the drum of William Desmond. The cabinet is completely sealed (with an alarm attached) and the lighting is indirect and low. The guns could not be removed from the case due to the alarm system and photography was NOT ALLOWED. The wooden case holding the pistols was open with the pistols shown within. Enclosed within the cover of the wooden case, hinged above the pistols, was a "Certification of Authenticity" from a George Putnam of New York attesting to the authenticity of the "brace of pistols". Regrettably, the certificate was old, on blue paper with white/yellow printing and, due to the very low and indirect lighting of the glass cabinet, was unreadable
The Hancock-Clarke House was built by the Reverend Hancock, grandfather to John Hancock - the first signer of the Declaration of Independence. It was at this house that William Dawes and Paul Revere met with John Hancock and Samuel Adams and warned them of the advancing British soldiers.