Easton resident Paul Ambrose has made his indelible mark on the world of American history antiques, extending far beyond the confines of his Monroe shop. His discerning eye for historical accuracy has resulted in collaborations with major film productions, including the iconic Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, where he supplied them with genuine antique firearms and armaments.
Ambrose Antiques initially launched as a modest website in 1999 and has since organically expanded over the years. While the physical storefront continues to captivate history enthusiasts, the online platform has evolved into a global resource for collectors. Thanks to Ambrose’s knack for discovering authentic European and American arms and armor, he has attracted collectors and history aficionados from diverse backgrounds. His website currently features a pair of French & Indian American Revolutionary War-period English Flintlock Officers’ pistols.
In recent years, Ambrose has observed a resurgence of interest in items from the American Revolutionary War period. Collectors and enthusiasts alike are drawn to pieces with compelling provenance and direct ties to historical events.
“Our 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence is approaching in 2026,” said Ambrose. “We are witnessing a trend among collectors who are keen on preserving American history.”
The crown jewel of his collection is a marked gun, which he describes as the “Holy Grail” of arms from the Revolution.
“A 20th regimentally marked gun that was originally used by the British but was captured by the Americans during the Battle of Saratoga and subsequently re-marked,” he said.
The 20th Regiment of Foot was deployed to Quebec in April 1776, contributing to the relief of Quebec in May 1776 during the American Revolutionary War. Later, they surrendered alongside General John Burgoyne at Saratoga after serving under him during the Canadian campaign.
“All of this was meticulously documented in the gun’s history,” said Ambrose. “Its markings tell a remarkable story. It originally came from one of the most renowned collectors, George Newman.”
This resurgence underscores the enduring appeal of tangible connections to the past and the birth of our nation.
On Aug. 19, Easton continued this tradition of preservation during a ceremony at Union Cemetery, where five local Revolutionary War veterans were honored with new bronze grave markers. The Governor Oliver Wolcott Sr. branch of the Connecticut Sons of the American Revolution, adorned in Colonial-attire and armed with period musket reproductions, paid homage to these heroes with a three-volley salute.
Tim Hill, the master of ceremony of the event and a descendant of a Revolutionary War veteran buried in Union Cemetery, said the musket replicas used during the ceremony were not supplied by Ambrose but crafted by Davide Pedersoli, an Italian company.
If you find yourself in possession of artifacts from the Revolutionary War or other significant periods, Ambrose recommends piecing together supporting documents such as letters, family Bibles, and historical texts that tie the piece with the person. When handling antiques, wear gloves as the salts from your hands lead to rust, and store them in a dry place. Most importantly, enjoy the pieces.
“That’s really the enjoyment of this. The fact that you can share the history with these things,” he said.
In an era characterized by rapid change, Ambrose remains a steadfast guardian of American history. His commitment to curating and safeguarding these treasures is a gift to both current and future generations. It serves as a poignant reminder that history, our history, is a narrative worthy of exploration, exhibition, and enduring appreciation.