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The Nizam's Cavalry Pistols as Trophies of Arms.

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Armoury was the largest single armoury that my father, Walter Clode, purchased during his times in India. The size and expense of the armoury led to a joint venture between his old friend and former manager of Westley Richards London, Malcolm Lyell. Malcolm went on to combine his acquisition of the Westley Richards Agency London with Holland & Holland. The joint venture between Holland & Holland and Westley Richards was a financial split and my father taking care of all the purchase and logistics getting the armoury home from India with which he was much more capable than the other party involved.

The Nizams Cavalry Pistols

Over the weekend I was talking to my father about various times past and this little catalogue was brought out of some cubby hole and given to me. I had seen it many years ago but forgotten about the display cabinets which it represents. I have no idea how many were ever made and sold but I have never seen them appear on the market since.

I am sure that many of you who follow the market and auctions will have seen in recent months various collections being disposed of which were made at the time of this deal taking place. Hyderabad weapons featured quite strongly in these collections and were all magnificent items. I hope that the content of the catalogue will provide the information on the cavalry pistols so I have not repeated it.

For me this catalogue reminded me the attention to detail that Malcolm Lyell applied to the work he did at Holland & Holland. Rather than just sell the pistols individually he created and had made these displays which keep a group of the pistols together, a very nicely considered piece of marketing.

Every year Malcolm would have some special exhibition piece to draw attention to the company and sell, the carved guns by Alan Brown, Saurian 4g, Herculean 4g, the Rococco .410 gun, cased sets of rifles and sets of guns. These items went under the term "Products of Excellence" an annual offering which was immediately stopped by Roger Mitchell when he took over from Malcolm. I have always thought that a very, very stupid move!

Hydrabad Cover inside

Hydrabad Page 13

Hydrabad Page 14

 

WAC October 2016

 

At home discussing the 'old times' including Hyderabad with my father last weekend.

4 Comments

  • Neil McVeigh on October 19, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Simon a fantastic post!
    I think we would all really appreciate time travel.If only we could revisit with your dad the
    "opening"of these armouries.What an Aladdins cave they must have been.Hope dad is
    keeping fine.

  • Tim Wilkes on October 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    As an ex-military man (no, not Indian Army!) I really appreciated the wonderful information and photographs in this post, thank you Simon.

    Great shot of your father, too.

    Tim

  • Vance Daigle on October 20, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Good Day Simon,

    Really great story Simon, what an adventure of a lifetime your Father had durning these times. I would love to sit with a case of wine and just listen to your Father's Stories!!! Be well Mr. Clode you are a true adventurer!!!!

    In Christ
    Vance,

  • Graham on May 11, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    I purchased one of the Nizam's 1st Cavalry pistols from David Winks 15 years ago at the London Arms Fair.
    He subsequently sent me a photo-copy of the Holland and Holland catalogue with a note addressed to him from Malcolm Lyell dated May 1979 written on the front cover.
    I would like to obtain an original copy of the catalogue if I can.
    Any ideas how?

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