This is one of a rare pair of American dueling pistols in the English style (its mate is also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection, acc. no. 96.5.36). North was the first contractor of military pistols made for the federal government following the Revolution.
Inscription: Inscribed on top of the barrel: Connecticut; above the breech plug, in a gilded oval, stamped: S. NORTH Middletown, Conn. The number 23 is stamped on the under side of the barrel.
North, S.N.D., and Ralph H. North. Simeon North, First Official Pistol Maker of the United States. Concord, NH: The Rumford Press, 1913. pp. 194–195.