I recently purchased a collection of British cartridges. Included was a .450 W.R. No 1 Musket cartridge that is engraved on the side ‘Dos Santos Aug. 7-86.’. The engraving is well done, and does not appear to have been recently added. This same cartridge was sold in Buttweiler’s Vol 10, No 1 auction in 1994. At that time, it was not known what the purpose for the engraving was, nor do I know now. Dos Santos is Spanish for ‘Two Saints’. I’d appreciate any ideas or suggestions. Here’s a picture:
I would almost bet there was some sort of battle there involving someone using this caliber rifles. I don’t know what country Dos Santos is in, nor do I know what country, in the 1886 time period, was using rifles of caliber 450 No 1 Musket.
I have several rounds like this. I have two, only slightly differently marked, from “Manila” during the Spanish American War. They are .30-40 Krag, of course.
I can’t even think, off hand, what war, if any, was going on in 1886. I should know that, although my major was 20th Century History. It doesn’t necessarily have to have been a Spanish Speaking country, since many countries have places with Spanish names here and there. It was probably a commercially produced “souvenir” of some sort, since you mention a second one. Those exist, of course, as well as individually-marked shell casings done by a soldier who picked it up himself.
Thanks for the input. If I gave the impression that there were two of these, that was not my intention. It is my opinion that this is the cartridge that was sold in the Buttweilwer auction.
I received an e-mail that suggested the possibility that the engraving might be related to a place or event in Portugal.
George Hoyem in his Vols 2 and 3 states that the Wesley Richards No 1 and No2 cartridges were used in the same firearm, a Deeley and Edge action single shot military musket that was used by volunteers in Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps contributors to this forum from those countries might know of a place or event that the engraving refers to.
We collectors are always saying "If only these cartridges could talk’. This one is coming as close to talking as it possibly could; the trick is interpretting what it is saying.
Australia and New Zealand. Interesting. Does anyone know if there is a “Dos Santos” in South Africa? It is a country with a lot of International influence in names, I think, or at least there is plenty of that in the general region of Southern Africa. How about any other African country where there was some UK colonialism going on? I don’t think the Australians or New Zealands did any fighting the Philippines, another country that came to mind, 12 years before the Spanish American War.
This .450 Westley Richards No. 1 Musket is a brazilian souvenir and to my knoledge it’s not related to any particular event, only to the city of Dos Santos, Sao Pablo state.
The inscription “Dos Santos” doesn’t mean “Two Saints” because it is not spanish, it’s portuguese. It translates as “From The Saints” or “Belong to Saints”. The date reads “Augusto 7, 1886” = August 7, 1886.
Brazil tested the Westley Richards Musket (British Patent N
Thanks for the translation and information. Was there any military or political event in Brazil that occurred on August 7, 1886 that you are aware of?
Hi Fede - read the Brazilian connection to Westley Richards with great interest.
I found in the Greenwood & Batley archives, orders from the Brazilian Government in February 1874 for 'Bullet machinery for 20,000 bullets per day for Westley Richards solid head cartridges @ ₤1875.'
Also 'A system of machinery for making 20,000 Westley Richards cartridges, including percussion caps, cases etc and delivery @ ₤1845.
I wish I could date Guy’s WR hst accurately but all I can say is it was made between 1872 - approx 1888.