Late 1700's/Early 1800's Flintlock Pistol

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Jtorres230, May 30, 2012.

  1. Jtorres230

    Jtorres230 New Member

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    Hi, I recently bought an old Flintlock pistol. I always wanted a real old Flintlock pistol, and have several fake wall displaying replicas while I was in Germany. From what I was told, it was from the late 1700's to early 1800's. I bought it from a reputable seller, the Gold & Silver Store (Pawn Stars) in Las Vegas. The store dropped 30 percent off the price due to me being in the military, stated that it fires and original from the late 1700's to early 1800's, but I forgot to get more details about it since we were in a hurry to hit the casinos. I believe it may be European, although I am not an expert, and the receipt says "No Name, 45 Cal". The overall length of the pistol is 8.5 inches. One side has a Gold colored metal plate, the other side is Silver. There is a small emblem of a character figure on top. The pistol looks in a little rough shape, but not too bad. If anyone is asking, the original asking price was $500 plus tax, I bought it for $425 total (tax incl). I bought alot of antique furniture and clocks in Europe and felt that this would go great in my display cabinet. I have included pictures. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    ok , Firstly Welcome to the forum , Nice Piece ..

    have you any good close ups of the lock face ? we may find some info there

    its definitely of the style of the austro hungarian prussian gun's

    the simplistic art makes me think more belguim .. a german gun would probably have a better cartouche for a piece like this

    .45is a strange cal for the period and area , but ...

    do you have better pic's of the lock face ?
  3. Jtorres230

    Jtorres230 New Member

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    Many thanks for the quick response Jack. I have attached three more photos of the pistol's lock face. I used my Iphone camera so it was hard getting a real close up. I had the feeling that it may be European, although I really wanted to start collecting old Americana stuff. This piece though will do. Any more advice is greatly appreciated! Many thanks!

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  4. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    well its been a shooter i can see powder residue in the touch whole and by that touch hole we can date it to pre fast touch holes ( a english gent figured a shorter touch hole would ignite faster and surer , it went global in a couple years ..)

    in the US you need a expert appraiser really , old dont mean valuable but i think that one may be worth getting looked at by a real expert

    the lock parts ( to me ) dont match the barrel , and .45 has me worried

    another look and the residue is too smooth for aged powder residue , that crystallises somewhat ..

    any idea's? left over polish?

    and last photo ( slow to Australia) that screw at the rear , thats a dead set worry as that screw and the countersinking are both modern
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  5. Jtorres230

    Jtorres230 New Member

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    I'll definitely will get it checked out one day. The store where I bought it is a pawn shop that deals with a lot of old valuable stuff and is filmed on cable TV here in the U.S. so usually they already know what something is worth. They sell a lot of antique weapons too, but didn't see any episodes of them buying this one. Have a great day over there and many thanks on the advice of this piece.
  6. Jtorres230

    Jtorres230 New Member

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    Didn't read the last part of ur reply. I did also notice that screw on the top back plate being modern; however the rest of the screws appear old which gives me the idea that some repair was done on this pistol at one point or another. It also appears that some small nails where places on some areas throughout this piece also. This may be the reason of the smaller asking price on this.
  7. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    i've had a chat with some folks and put the pic's on high inspection , a lot on the gun dont make sense to me upon a hard look, all can be explained , but it leaves me confused

    the modern screw and the countersunk and machine marked recess have me wondering reproduction ... ..

    it needs a trained eye in person with good light and maybe pulling it apart

    the inspection you should be able to get for free , the tear down inspect ? thats normally a cost

    go free first until you know what you have ..
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  8. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    Small pistol, small cal. .45, flat banana shape lock plate, coffin shape top jaw, decor, etc. I see nothing inconsistent with Prussian ca 1700-1725. Could be later because Germans could be a bit retro in guns. Looks totally original and untouched to me. I agree with getting a hands-on opinion by someone knowledgable in early pistols, I mean someone with a demonstrable reputation. From what I see, you have a piece that might have been priced at 3X what you paid by a major dealer.

    I have seen comic-like figures on a few fine guns before.

    For more info about my opinion google me R H McCrory.
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    Sir , if i may , i had some of your books as a kid one how to make a pistol for $10

    another 20 accessories for flinters or similar

    where are these available ? i'd be most happy to buy them again
  10. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The pistol looks good to me with the exceptions noted. I agree that it is a good bit earlier than the "late 1700's", probably late 1720's or early 1730's. The cartoonish "engraving" on the barrel plate is clearly not up to the standard of the rest of the pistol; I suspect the plate was blank when it fell into the hands of someone who decided to embellish it.

    Could the barrel not be original? Hard to tell; the engraving is more profuse and in a different style from the lockplate, and the fit is not as perfect as it should be, so the answer is a definite maybe. Removing the barrel might give more clues.

    Jim
  11. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    It looks good but the barrel fit is nowhere near the quality of the rest of the work. I suspect a rebarrel somewhere down the line.
  12. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    A hands-on examination by a specialist in early pistols might fault the barrel fit. IMO he would more likely ignore it as movement that can occur in wood over time. Wood can shrink and become tighter around the metal parts & it can move away from the metal. If a stock of its type becomes wet the wood can expand and dry leaving a gap along the barrel. I have 'fixed' such gaps by saturating again and clamping until good and dry.

    What with the many variables in wood such as type of wood, dryness from initial stock mfgr to later, variations in humidity, etc. i can't see faulting the barrel fit based on present info.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  13. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    T'would seem to me if shrinkage was used to explain the gap between barrel and wood the lock would show the same gaps.
  14. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    Possible explanation, barrel wood got wet, inside of barrel inlet is bare wood easy to absorb water while lock pretty well seals interior from wet. Also wood along barrel is much thinner than along lock and a bit of wet has more effect.

    In any case it's only my opinion from experience. For what it's worth, I try to stay with what is based on my own experience or on documentable source. Not to say it will all stand up in court but I would be able and willing to defend.
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I doubt anything could be determined based on those pics. The wood-metal fit of the barrel is not good, but the touch hole is in the right place. Again, I think only removal of the barrel and an examination of the wood would tell for sure. I suspect that if the barrel was replaced, it is probably an old job and not at all recent, but again that is just my $.02.

    Jim
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