An extremely rare and fine cased [lacquered] belt pistol retaining the original powder flask, barrel wrench, bullet mold, and amazingly the original mountings screws used to fasten back plate to split belt. The leather belt is original and supple, one side has a stitched guide/rib channel running the entire length that accommodates the trigger string which appears to be original. The trigger cord is contained within the ribbed belt channel and was concealed by the wearers coat as it ran up his back or chest then down the coat sleeve... when the wearer was ordered to raise his arms by an attacker, he was able to tighten the string as arms are raised thusly firing the gun. The device could be worn either at the front of the body, or at the small of the back pointed to the rear... its intent was defense against an attacker attempting to garrote - to use a cord or wire with handles attached to strangle the victim.
Henry Ball worked at 23 Weaman Row, Birmingham, England, as a gun and lock maker from 1849-1868. Ball's invention was created for protection during the Garroting Panic of the 1860' s in England. This example is impressed with makers' mark.
There are few examples extant, we sold another many years ago and know of one other complete set that was owned by Norm Flayderman.
Measurement: Japanned case; 2" x 7.5" x 3", 1 3/8 inch 36-caliber barrel; backplate: 2.5 x 6.75".
Condition: Outstanding, mechanically fine, retains bluing
Reference: Among other titles, see Firearms Curiosa by Lewis Winant, pp 151/152, plates 170 and 171.