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Title Cavalry officer's pickers & chains, William IV hallmarked silver
Nationality British
Period 1831-36

This set would have been mounted on the front of the bullion cross belt, on which a silver-mounted pouch was suspended in the small of the officer's back, usually with the cypher of the monarch thereon. These were carried by regular line cavalry and also yeomanry units.

Historically, the pickers (arrows) were for cleaning out the touchhole on the flintlock pistol when it became fouled with use. They then survived into the 20th century as ornamental items.

The hallmarks are for William IV's reign (1831-36), although there is no date letter, only the lion passant and the maker's mark SH (possibly for Samuel Humphreys). Only the lion passant and the maker's mark are on the pickers. There are no marks on the larger belt mount, but clearly the engraving is in the same hand as on the smaller one, ergo they are a matching set. London is the assumed workplace.

This has had a bit of a life and there are some bends and dings in both elements of the belt mounts. The chain is in nice order, as are the arrow pickers, with some signs of minor use, perhaps in cleaning the touch holes of the officer's pistol.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Badges : British : 19th Century]


The sword arrived on time and in fantastic condition.

G W, United Kingdom, 29.10.2018

Helmet arrived safely and am pleased with it.

A M, UK, 24.01.2013