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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to get an idea of the identification and value of this hand-me-down. I know it's not in great shape..suggestions on cleaning would be appreciated. It looks real to me, but I'm still not totally sure?

I am just curious about the value. I don't intend to sell, but I'd like to know how to treat it. In a case -or- on the wall -or- in the closet. A rough estimate value would help a lot.

I can not get the barrel off to check for a proof mark because of the repair.

Many thanks!



















 

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It appears to be a typical, poorly made mid-Eastern tourist piece of no particular value, except as a decorative wall hanger. It may be decades old, but is not centuries old and had no collector's value. The dead giveaway on these is the lavishly overdone, but badly detailed and finished "gingerbread."
 

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With all due respect to the contrary, your pistol is a real weapon, dating probably mid 1800s or a little earlier. Unfortunately, it is common to try to judge Eastern pistols using French quality standards. Even the best of those from such places as Turkey don't approach European standards qunsmithing & with lower gun quality usually simpler decor.

I have been into old guns since the 1930s and into old gun restoration since the 1960s. I also lived a while in Turkey and know something of what I write both from restoration and first hand visiting the Turkish bazaars in the 1950s. There was no such thing as 'tourist gun' then and those seen were often similar to yours.

http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/flintlocks/

This should bring up a lot of flintlock pistols, about 20 down the list is a Turkish pair a lot like yours. Note its silver sleeve over the muzzle. Very likely yours had a similar muzzle treatment and someone had other use for the silver and replaced it with wire wrapping.

Eastern pistols don't fare well in the market place due to their quality, no connection with European history, 'tourist copy' reputation, etc. Yours probably would bring $250-400 to a knowledgable buyer. As for cleaning, I would do no more than cleaning it with maybe alcohol to remove surface crud and then oil it to keep rust at bay.

See my Turkish pistol below, left side just above the two ivory handled revolvers. Picture from 1951

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It appears to be a typical, poorly made mid-Eastern tourist piece of no particular value, except as a decorative wall hanger. It may be decades old, but is not centuries old and had no collector's value. The dead giveaway on these is the lavishly overdone, but badly detailed and finished "gingerbread."
Yah what I was afraid of. Thanks.

Anyone agree or disagree? I hate to treat this gun based on one opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With all due respect to the contrary, your pistol is a real weapon, dating probably mid 1800s or a little earlier. Unfortunately, it is common to try to judge Eastern pistols using French quality standards. Even the best of those from such places as Turkey don't approach European standards qunsmithing & with lower gun quality usually simpler decor.

I have been into old guns since the 1930s and into old gun restoration since the 1960s. I also lived a while in Turkey and know something of what I write both from restoration and first hand visiting the Turkish bazaars in the 1950s. There was no such thing as 'tourist gun' then and those seen were often similar to yours.

http://www.collectorsfirearms.com/flintlocks/

This should bring up a lot of flintlock pistols, about 20 down the list is a Turkish pair a lot like yours. Note its silver sleeve over the muzzle. Very likely yours had a similar muzzle and someone had other use for the silver and replaced it with wire wrapping.

Eastern pistols don't fare well in the market place due to their quality, no connection with European history, 'tourist copy' reputation, etc. Yours probably would bring $250-400 to a knowledgable buyer. As for cleaning, I would do no more than cleaning it with maybe alcohol to remove surface crud and then oil it to keep rust at bay.
That's good news. Thank you that was very helpful. Would you suggest trying to remove the barrel and wire wrapping to check for markings and clean the under side of the barrel? Or just leave it be?
 

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The only similarity is that it is a flint pistol, similar to scores of others and with no specifically Turk attributes. Looks a lot more European than Eastern.
 

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There was no such thing as 'tourist gun' then and those seen were often similar to yours.
you had me going till this part.. to which.. I'll jut have to disagree with you.

I've seen MANY replica guns passed off as real firearms.

Many don't even have the BBL bored back past a couple inches.. the frizzen and pan may be welded or integral.. no flash holes.. non working lock.. as in no mechanism at all..

these are what many refer to as tourist pistols. IE.. simple decorative wall hanges.

we've seen about 3 here at this forum in the last few months. I see them in antique stores all over. they are simple non fireing poorly made replicas. Wife just came back from turkey late last year right before the riots hit. the bazaars are full of that kind of junk... cheap fau inlay. rough solder and brass work.. etc. occasionalyl you see some parts theat may have actually come off a real gun.. but most of it is fabricated for looks...
 

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As for removing the barrel - for what purpose? It's probably rusty on the bottom but so what? Clean wouldn't preserve it better and if you found markings what would you know or do with them. The wire wrapping has something of a character of its own.

If you want to do something productive, try to translate the four characters on the barrel, pix next to last. It may be a stylized Arabic date. I have no suggestion as to how.
 

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soundguy--- I would point out that my statement about no tourist guns THEN was in the context of my time in Turkey in the 1950s.

For two reasons no tourist guns due to no tourist influx to buy them and more important, the real guns were were so plentiful and cheap.

In my pix above the non-US pieces prices I paid were from $2 for single shot perc pistols to $30 for cased pairs, $30 for wheellock pistols and for fine flint pairs.
 

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:) Sound guy, rhmc posted " in the 1950's" there were no such thing as tourist guns , not today in the present time. My first impression ( and second ) was that it is a real " gun " of Mideastern heritage. It has been much carried and much used before it was retired ( or confiscated ), or liberated form a tribal members body during one of their numerous battles against the colonial powers and each other. It is definitely not of European origin. JMHO and I have others, but I have also been wrong before in the past and will be again in the future, I know that is hard to believe but alas, it is indeed the truth :D
 

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the way i took his post was that no wall hangers ever came out of turkey then or now.

which.. we know.. simply isn't true.. ( now)

that's the point I was making.

i wasn't in turkey in 1950.. can't speak for it then.
 

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With all due respect to the contrary, your pistol is a real weapon, dating probably mid 1800s or a little earlier.
I was basing my assessment largely on the lack of a vent hole and the brass nail used to hold the trigger guard. But maybe I'm not seeing it--the vent hole that is.
 

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Some of the early tourist pieces are hard to tell from the actual low-end quality of some of the real guns.

As the 'real' mid-East pistol supply began to dry up, it wasn't hard and didn't take alot of gunmaking skill to make pretty close copies to supply a growing market, the growth of tourism, that is. Some of them were actually workable and might have been fireable. The tourist piece quality (quality hardly applies, but can't find another word) got worse over time to where we see them with locks cast in one piece, etc and decor just a bunch of pearl pieces inlaid in no particular pattern.

I traveled a lot in Europe '47-49 and mid-East from several months in Turkey '52, various several days at a time into about '56. Thereafter all over until '75. In Europe & England the heyday of old guns, cheap was in the '40s and slowly got tighter and was pretty well gone by early '60s. I never a bought pistol in the mid East except a Belgian copy of a '51 Colt Navy, nickel & bone, for $6. The Turkish piece in my pix above I got in Austria, probably a relic of the Turk invasions that went on till the mid 17s. I also never saw one of the tourist pieces offered for sale. They must have come on strong after the '60s. I'm fuzzy about the date, maybe late '60s, but in Nice, France I was offered a collection of a dozen of No. African snaphaunce long guns for $5 each. Some very nice ones but being so long, difficult to pack, ship, etc I passed, thinking they would probably cost me 4X that landed in NY.
 

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Maybe you should read instead of skim.
I was reading, not skimming. It was a misunderstanding. For instance. you just assumed I skimmed.. but I didn't. i read, and mistook the statment. as i said above.
 

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PS.. To hawg and RHM.

I meant no disrespect. as i said. just responded to the post as I read it. which was obviously incorrect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's is dome more ifo I got on the pistol if anyone is browsing the forum in the future.


"I'm confident that what you have is commonly called a Turkish Kubur (horse) Pistol. Probably from the early-mid 19th Century. And typical of the style. These pistols were primarily made in the Balkans - for the Turkish market and decorated for local tastes. Even though they were made in the thousands, I have never seen any two exactly alike. Unless made as a pair. Even though many had extensive stock carvings and inlays, the decoration was usually done in a generic fashion so as to appeal to a variety of prospects.

Taking the barrel off will not likely produce any usable marks. Nor will the inside of the lock.
The lock on yours was locally made. It's possible the barrel was imported from Belgium or Italy (as was commonly done) and decorated locally. But it could have also been made by a local barrel smith. It's usually very difficult - if not impossible to tell. The brass wire on your barrel looks like it assisted in a period repair. But the brass wire was also used in place of a barrel band on some examples.

These pistols were used virtually unchanged for some 200 years. Which probably accounts for the many samples still available today. Your's looks like it's seen a lot of use/action.


The pistol originally had what is commonly referred to as a "false ramrod". The ramrod was just there for looks, if you can believe it. Some were simply a short piece of wood or metal rod installed a short distance on the gun that was removable, but useless. Others actually had the stock carved to just give the appearance of a ramrod. It is still a mystery why the Turks even bother with this idea. But in either case it was simply a styling exercise.
The Turks (and the Greeks) preferred to load their pistols with a separate rod called a "suma". This rod was carried in their sash or hung from the neck with a throng. The Greeks often had very fancy suma rods, including ones with a threaded end exposing a vent pick."

-ricky-
 
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