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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I just registered and apologize if registering and asking for help right off the bat is not appreciated. Just tell me to hang around awhile first and I won't be offended. Also if this isn't the place to ask, just let me know.

Many years ago I inherited half of my fathers collection and just now trying to identify this item. My father always thought it was french, though I have no idea why he thought that. I don't know if you will be able to make out the writing on the lock, but to me it looks like "N D VINA" with a line above and below the N, not the D, a line above but not below the V, a line above and below the I that almost but not quite connects with lines above the N and then the A with a line below that connects from the N but no line above. That is what it looks like to me, but I wouldn't swear to it.

The barrel is round but the breach is octagonal. The barrel and breach have a pattern and the stock has a delicate inlay.

Any idea where this might be from and any general guess at the year?

Photos on my google drive:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I'll add the reason I am asking because there might be other suggestions.

I inherited these from my father (and had a few of my own) years ago. They have been just sitting in a gun safe in the garage. We are about to finish our unfinished basement and that is going to be my space (unlike the rest of the house that my wife as decorated!). So rather than those guns sitting in the safe, I am going to build a secure display case to display them. I plan to have a small brass plate engraved for each firearm. I am thinking the name on the first line, date of manufacture on the second, location of manufacture on the third. Something like this:

Colt Army
1865
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Colt Army Single Action
1890
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Winchester Model 1897
1909
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.

And on through for a dozen or so firearms. I have to decide which I'll display and what will stay in the safe. For this flintlock I have no idea what to engrave. I am thinking something like this:

Flintlock Pistol
circa early 1700s
France

But I don't know what date to put there or what country. If no one has any idea on date or country, any idea about how to label it? I welcome suggestions on my labeling thoughts for the rest of them too.

I still need to design my display cabinet too, but that is a worry for another time. I don't want to make it impregnable, just so a guy with a hammer and pry bar can't get into it. I am thinking that 3/4 birch plywood with a 3/4 back lag bolted into the studs and a clear polycarbonate front will do, except for how the door is hinged and latched. That will be the weak point and what I haven't figured out yet. But again, not what I am asking or worrying about just yet.
 

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It would really help if we could see some pictures. Read the stickies here:

They tell what kind of pictures to take and how to take them and how to post them. Someone should be able to help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will look at that to make sure to take pictures as instructed, but in the mean time, I have a link in my original post to photos.
 

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I see that. For obvious reasons people are reluctant to click on links from sources they don't know, and you are new here, so please excuse our caution.

By the way, welcome to TFF from the UK!!
 

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I'll add the reason I am asking because there might be other suggestions.

I inherited these from my father (and had a few of my own) years ago. They have been just sitting in a gun safe in the garage. We are about to finish our unfinished basement and that is going to be my space (unlike the rest of the house that my wife as decorated!). So rather than those guns sitting in the safe, I am going to build a secure display case to display them. I plan to have a small brass plate engraved for each firearm. I am thinking the name on the first line, date of manufacture on the second, location of manufacture on the third. Something like this:

Colt Army
1865
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Colt Army Single Action
1890
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Winchester Model 1897
1909
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.

And on through for a dozen or so firearms. I have to decide which I'll display and what will stay in the safe. For this flintlock I have no idea what to engrave. I am thinking something like this:

Flintlock Pistol
circa early 1700s
France

But I don't know what date to put there or what country. If no one has any idea on date or country, any idea about how to label it? I welcome suggestions on my labeling thoughts for the rest of them too.

I still need to design my display cabinet too, but that is a worry for another time. I don't want to make it impregnable, just so a guy with a hammer and pry bar can't get into it. I am thinking that 3/4 birch plywood with a 3/4 back lag bolted into the studs and a clear polycarbonate front will do, except for how the door is hinged and latched. That will be the weak point and what I haven't figured out yet. But again, not what I am asking or worrying about just yet.
Start a separate Discussion for each firearm.
 

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Your pictures turned out just fine, My best guess would be French but it might also be Belgian made, there may be proof marks on the underside of the barrel, but if you don't know how to disassemble it, don't try it. You might end up causing more damage than it's worth to find out. Best guess on time frame is late 1700's.

I don't see any sights on it, is it a smoothbore and approximately what caliber or bore is it?
The reason I asked is dueling pistols were smoothbore and had no sights.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
There are no sights. The bore is smooth and I just measured it with calipers and it measures 0.52 or 0.53 so 50 cal I guess. My father had two identical of these. I thought they should be kept together, but my brother didn't agree. He has one, I have one.

Regarding the other guns and starting discussions. I, for the most part, have the information on them. I have three guns where I don't know the year of manufacture: A Mauser 6.26 that have narrowed down to between 1909-1913, an M1 Carbine that was 1942 or 1943, not sure which, and a Luger that I think was either during the war or a bit before in the 30s (the holster has Nazi markings but there is no guarantee they have always been together). Oh and my Single Acton Army. I have a letter from Colt to my father saying who it was shipped to along with the exact date in 1890 it was shipped. Yet when I checked the serial number on Colt's web site, it said it was manufactured in 1893 on Saturday and when I checked again today it said 1891. I am just going to go with the 1890 date.

Oh and I'll just mention that my father had them displayed and everyone would comment that about the dueling pistols and he would tell them that they aren't dueling pistols, he just happens to have two of the same. I don't know why he thought that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Something I thought might help date this is that the barrel is round except at the breach where it is hexagonal (or however many sides it has I didn't count). I don't know when they started making barrels completely round.
 

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If they are smooth bores and have no sights and are a matched pair, they are indeed genuine dueling pistols. The rules of dueling forbid rifled bores or sights. They both belong together as a set, individually they are worth less than they would be as a matched pair because so many sets have not stayed together over the years. It's too bad they don't have the case and loading accoutrements. If the bore is .52 to .53 then its a 30 gauge more or less, a fifty caliber would measure .50

The tang screw looks to be a replacement, it's too shiny and new looking, also the slots on all the screws should be indexed to align with the bore, the lock bolts are across the bore. the craftsman who made this pistol would have taken the extra time to make sure all the screws were timed and indexed. As a side note, the slot in the tang screw was sometimes used as a rudimentary rear sight.

An octagon to round barrel has been used for too long a time to be used for dating the pistols, the lock is the key. The most likely time frame is from 1750 to perhaps 1800, it could be a decade or two older but not much newer.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I pushed to keep them together but my brother wouldn't. I was lucky to get my share of the guns. He raided the house and took most everything we haven't spoken since. So, I don't see these being brought back together. Here is a photo with both of them in it:

238895
 

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Discussion Starter #14
And just as an aside. Of the ones in the photo, going left to right, I have the little Mauser, the Colt Army, the Colt Army Single Action and the one we are discussing here (I may have the one in the box too, I'll have to look, but it isn't really an interesting gun. Of the rest there are only two I would like to have. The Queen Ann (the brass flintlock) and the little Sharps four barrel that is at the handle of the Queen Ann. In this picture is a small part of the collection.

So from what have hard so far I am think the plaque for this gun would be engraved with:

Flintlock Pistol
Circa mid-1700s
French or Belgian

I won't be making up these plaques until the spring or summer anyway, so plenty of time for more feedback.
 

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I'd put

French dueling pistol.
Flintlock
Circa mid 1700's

I'm more inclined to think it's French.
 

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If it's of any comfort, I'll second what Griz said...but just because I like him..... 🤗

Seriously, I do concur with what he said, especially about the pistol being a dueller and the date range. Country of manufacture, I defer to him.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I would agree on that encryption except that would be a different format from all the rest. Not saying the format I am planning is the best and welcome input on it, but I was planning to put:

Name
date of manufacture
location of manufacture​

For everything else I have that information. For example:

Colt Single Action Army
1890
Hartford, CT, U.S.A.​

What would fit that format and make it like all the others would be:

Dueling Pistol
Circa mid 1700s
France
But like I said I welcome feedback on the format or if consistent format even matters.
 

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Use whatever format that suits you, I still think it a shame that the pair was seperated and not much hope of the being a set again but it is what it is.
 

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One last thought for you, research the name on the lock plate, it might be the name of the smith who made the pistols or it might be the name of the man who commissioned them to be made.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Use whatever format that suits you, I still think it a shame that the pair was seperated and not much hope of the being a set again but it is what it is.
I agree it would be best to keep them together and would offer to trade this one for that Queen Ann giving my brother the pair, even though the Queen Ann has some condition issues. Heck if the relationship was there I might just give him this one, but we haven't had any contact in six years after he stole everything from my father's house and that was just the capper to a lot of bad behavior. I would have been fine talking to him but he never contacted me and I haven't contacted him more as a support to my sister who is the most upset at him.

Families. What are you going to do?
 
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