First Post - need help to identify

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by danno, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. danno

    danno New Member

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    Hello All,

    My first post to this forum but can assure you it won't be my last. I am in receipt of many flintlock, black powder and some other pistols which I know absolutely nothing about. I am however very eager to learn and document the history of each piece and am hopeful that the experts here will oblige by assisting in this endeavor.

    My first pistol:
    • A flintlock
    • 19 1/2" in total length
    • 11 1/2" barrel
    • possible naval weapon (see photo)
    • Possible "Pottsdam ????" on side plate
    • Great condition (in my eyes)

    Any assist to properly identify for documentation purposes would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks! Danno

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  2. danno

    danno New Member

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    more photos

    Attached Files:

  3. danno

    danno New Member

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    a few more... ;)

    Attached Files:

  4. danno

    danno New Member

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    Thanks and look forward to your comments!

    PS... I have re-sized my photos! Sorry for the large scans.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Whoa!! nice !!
  6. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Well, that is no repro. Potsdam (now a suburb of Berlin) was a German gun making center from early on, but that marking looks odd, almost as if it were put there later. I would date that gun to around 1760, but am more than willing to be corrected by someone with better information. Searching for proof marks would probably be pointless for a gun that early, but you might turn up something.

    The engraving on the plate would probably be the initials of the first owner.

    Jim
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  7. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    i think there might be proof marks on the under side of the barrel ?????? but in my humble opinion not worth messing up 200 + year old screw heads and wood to look for them
  8. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    The "engraving" in the lock plate, to me, looks like OTTOMAN - but why it would be in English rather than Turkish script doesn't ring true - unless it was a battle trophy and the owner wanted to mark it for posterity. ???? Very nice piece of work - especially the serpentine lock plate on the left side.
    The engraved brass medallion seems to have some Turkic or Arabic influence, especially the crescent moons and the shape of the hilt on the saber/shamshir.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  9. danno

    danno New Member

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    All very good information and I thank you. Where would you suggest this piece be best evaluated for authenticity and value?
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    On taking a second look, I have to wonder if that marking is really "Potsdam." It could almost as easily be Rotterdam or some other name/city. For the moment, I would have to say it is of uncertain origin.

    Jim
  11. danno

    danno New Member

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    It does definitely say Pottsdamm - "Pottsdamm" and i believe a "GA71" or "GAZ1" following. It's difficult to see the last 2 digits/numbers

    I searched the net and there is evidence to a "1756 Pottsdamm". Need to find a photo to see if similar.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  12. danno

    danno New Member

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    It looks to be a Prussian Flintlock Cavalry Pistol ( 1731 Potzdam Model). After these pistols were manufactured several other nations began to copy this model type to include the British Dragoon model.

    Thoughts??
  13. danno

    danno New Member

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    I am correct - it is a Prussian Flintlock Cavalry Pistol ( 1731 Potzdam Model) and it is marked "Potzdam Magaz". A pretty rare piece from what I can tell.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  14. BullShoot

    BullShoot New Member

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    Good search, Danno and a good find.

    You have a very nice and important pistol.

    If I may, I would like to add to what you have already learned....

    The complete inscription may be ''POTTSDAM MAGAZIN'' and the contractor/maker is shown by the small inscription on the edge of the lockplate - three characters indicating S and D or Splitgeber and Daum.

    The engraved brass thumb plate bears the monogram for FR which is ''Friderius Rex'' whom we know as Frederick the Great. With this monogram, it is safe to suppose it was manufactured in his reign, 1740-1786.

    There is a possibility that the actual date of manufacture is also on the lockplate - but hidden beneath the finial of the frizzen spring.

    Best wishes

    BullShoot
  15. danno

    danno New Member

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    Hello Bullshoot,

    You are correct that there are models with the complete "Potzdam Magazine" engraving. This one is the earlier marking "Potzdam Magaz" with the, as you have stated, the "std" being the contractor. And as you have pointed out, the date could very well be behind the finial of the frizzen spring. I am guessing that this pistol was created 1731 based on the others similar to mine. This would put it at 280 years of age. WOW....:eek: (I do realize there could be a +/- of 10 years in there.)

    I am super excited on this find. In further reasearching possible value, the last auction of this pistol (in much poorer condition than mine) by Arms and Armour of England in June of 2006, the hammer price went for 2100 English Sterling pounds.

    I have 6-10 additional percussion & flintlock pistols to research so yours and the other knowledgeable member's assistance is greatly appreciated.
  16. denny 714

    denny 714 Member

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    Very old important piece, Congrats and good luck.

    Denny G
  17. BullShoot

    BullShoot New Member

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    Oops, Danno, got a few more tidbits to add...

    First, I may have jumped the gun when I said your pistol was Frederick the Great. I have come across some data that I think would indicate that crest on the thumb plate could have been Frederick Wilhelm I as easily as Frederick II. Now I'm back to an ''I don't know'' status on the date. Well, I was until I found this other information...

    This data I feel more comfortable with...
    Splitt or Split, gerber or geber - the combinations all seem to refer to the same folks. Splittgerber und Daum were ''powerful Berlin Arms Manufacturers, omnibus entrepreneurs and financiers.'' Splitgerber und Daum ran the Royal Arsenal from 1723-1740 - which means your date is more likely than mine.

    Good deal, Danno.

    BullShoot
  18. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Excellent information.

    Jim
  19. danno

    danno New Member

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    Jim K - appreciate all your insight as well.

    I am posting a few more tonight that I have been researching and will be llokign for a lot of insight and guidance towards identification and authenticity.

    Many THANKS!

    danno
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