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Percussion Boxlock Pistol With Turn-Off Barrel, c1840

This small percussion boxlock pistol is a fine example of a gentleman's pocket pistol dating from the second quarter of the 19th century. It has a rifled turn-off barrel that is just 1 1/16 inches long with a bore of approximately .375 inches. The pistol's overall length is just 4 1/2 inches and it weighs just 4 1/8 ounces. It has a folding trigger and both the breach and hammer are decorated with floral-like flourishes. On the side of the breech opposite the percussion nipple is a partially undecipherable trademark for “?? COOPER NEW YORK”. Possibly J.R. Cooper who was an agent for British Arms in New York around c1840. Birmingham proof marks are stamped on the bottom of the breach and barrel, a double crossed scepters over "V" (the "view mark") and a double crossed scepters containing "B", "P", and "C" (the gun-makers proof). The style of these marks also date the gun to the period. The checkered wood grip has an oval silver escutcheon that is unmarked.

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11/20/17
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Rare Continental Arms Pepperbox Pistol

This 5 shot .22 caliber revolver is known as a Pepperbox Pistol. Each cylinder of this style pistol has its own full-length barrel. Viewed from the front, this circular arrangement of barrels was said to resemble a pepper shaker. In the late 1860’s this design was patented by Charles Converse and Samuel Hopkins. Bacon Manufacturing Company manufactured the pistol under the trade name Continental Arms. The serial number of this one is 215 and it is located under the grip. The butt of the pistol is marked “U.S.A. 6.8.2.3.” It looks like the “2” may be an overstrike of “1.” and the “U.S.A.” is double struck. The cylinder is marked "CONTINENTAL ARMS CO. NORWICH.C/ PATENTED AUG. 28, 1866.". The side of the frame is also double struck with “U.S.A.” These pistols are very rare. I’ve read that 800 were originally made and that it is likely less than half that number still exist.

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11/17/17
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Yes, it really is that small.

A friend suggested that my earlier post didn't convey just how small this small 22 caliber 6 shot revolver really is. Hope this image helps.

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Tiny Belgian Revolver
circa 1875

This small 22 caliber 6 shot revolver has a 2 3/16 inch barrel and weighs less than 6 ounces. It has a folding trigger and checkered wood grips. Though it is covered with a variety of marks, I find no clear indication of a maker. A Liege Proof House mark on the cylinder, which consists of an oval containing the letter ELG over a star, is a clear indication of its Belgian origin. This style of proof mark was used from 1846 to 1893.

Do you recognize this revolver and know who the manufacturer was? Alain Daubresse has a web page devoted to this style of weapon http://littlegun.be/ I sent him these photos but he was unable to identify a maker.

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11/9/17
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A Very SMALL Boxlock Pistol

These photos are from the archive. The pistol was sold by the F.E. Williams Trust a few years ago shortly after I photographed it.

This diminutive boxlock pistol is very finely made. It has a turn-off barrel, sliding safety, and a folding trigger. The safety is located on top of the action. With the pistol half-cocked and the frizzen closed, sliding the safety forward locks both the cock (hammer) and the frizzen. The trigger remains recessed until the safety is released and the pistol is fully cocked. "STAUDENMAYER" and "LONDON" is engraved on the side of the breech below the flash pan. Two Birmingham proof marks are stamped on the bottom of breech, a double-crossed scepter over "V" (the "view mark") and a double-crossed scepter containing "B", "P", and "C" (the gun-makers proof).

Samuel Staudenmayer was born January 25, 1767, in Kirchberg an der Murr, Wurttemberg. He moved to England sometime before 1794, when his marriage to Elizabeth Robotham was recorded at the Church of St. James, Piccadilly. He was a valued employee of the famous gunmaker John Manton. In 1799 he opened his own business at 35 Cockspur Street. The location is just south of Trafalgar Square in central London. Staudenmayer was appointed a gunmaker to both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York. He is the maker of a Girandoni-system air rifle in the Royal Collection at Windsor (inventory number: L 409) and is widely credited for being the first gunmaker to bring the air rifle design to London.

Mr. Shaun Brown has made an extensive study of Samuel Staudenmayer which was published in Arms Collecting Magazine. I have relied heavily on the research of Mr. Brown for the information presented here.

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11/8/17
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Bowie Knife

On September 19, 1827, Jim (James) Bowie was seriously injured in a violent brawl that would come to be called the Sandbar Fight. The media's sensationalized accounts of the event made Bowie famous. According to one account, Bowie was shot twice and stabbed seven times before killing an attacker with a large knife. After the Sandbar Fight and subsequent publicity, Bowie and his knife became icons of the rugged frontier lifestyle. There is some disagreement about the actual events and even what constitutes a Bowie knife. Today a Bowie knife is generally considered to have a large and wide blade with a curved point, a sharp false edge cut from both sides, and a cross-guard to protect the user's hands. This Bowie Knife has a blade that is 11 7/8 inches long and 2 3/16 inches wide. The overall length is 16 3/4 inches and the guard is 4 1/4 inch wide. The knife weighs 1 lb. 4 1/4 oz. The blade is crudely stamped "HICKS". What could be something like a Passau Wolf mark can be found on the pommel.

Do you recognize this knife or have one like it?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Bowie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbar_Fight https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowie_knife

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9/28/17
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Order of Santiago
Parrying Dagger

This beautiful Left Handed Parrying Dagger may date from as early as the beginning of the 17th century. It has a gilded scallop, shell-shaped guard. With gilded scallop shell decorations on the pommel and the turned down quillons' finials. The blade face's fuller is inscribed “SANTVAGO” (Santiago, Saint James the Greater) and "IN TOLEDO” is inscribed on the reverse side. There is a maker's mark on both sides of the blade, an embossed crown over an “O” and “T.” “O” and “T” are the reversed initials Toledo and they have been described as a hallmark of Toledo. These letters are often incorporated into makers marks from the area. The handle is wire wrapped. This dagger has a leather scabbard which is also decorated with a gilded scallop shell.

Blade length 11 7/8 inches
Hilt length 5 inches
Guard width 5 5/8 inches
Overall length with scabbard 19 inches
Weight 15 5/8 oz

For more information on the historic Order of Santiago and the symbology of the Scallop Shell check out these links.

Saint James the Greater or in Spain as Santiago Matamoros:

https://www.caminoadventures.com/st-james/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James,_son_of_Zebedee

The Order of Santiago:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_Santiago

The images of the dagger are Copyright (C) 2017 by Dana K. Williams

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8/4/17
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Henry Deringer Commemorative Set, c1978

This boxed pair of silver mounted Deringers with tools is number 375 of 1000 produced by the U.S. Historical Society in the late 1970s It originally sold for $2499.00.

I photographed the set for the estate of the late Dr. Charles L. Moore who was the original purchaser.

These Deringer pocket pistols are much like the one used by John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.
https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/lab/forensic-science-communications/fsc/jan2001/index.htm/schehl.htm

From the start, Henry Deringer’s small pistols were very popular. Lincoln’s assassination helped make the name Deringer synonymous with all small pistols. After his death in 1868, the design was widely copied.

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Late 16th Century Left-Hand / Parrying Dagger

During the mid 16th century a two-handed form of personal combat had become popular in western Europe. A sword or rapier would be held in the right hand while a dagger was held in the left. These daggers were designed to parry or block an opponent's blows and to attack by cutting or thrusting.

This elaborate Left-Hand Dagger is likely German and dates to the late 16th or early 17th century. The finely chiseled hilt's gilt ironwork resembles a style which has been attributed to the Munich School of iron-chisellers. Many of the artistic design details originated in the Mannerist pattern-books that date from the third quarter of the 16th century, notably those of a French Huguenot artist named Etienne Delaune (1518-1583).

15 1/2 ounces
16 3/16 inches long overall
5 5/8 inches wide overall
2 1/16 inches tall overall
Blade Length 10 7/8 inches
Blade Width 1 1/16 inches at the guard

Parrying Daggers and Poniards, by Leonid Tarassuk, The Metropolitan Museum of Art:
http://www.metmuseum.org/pubs/journals/1/pdf/1512722.pdf.bannered.pdf

Munich School Of Iron-Chisellers:
See: Peter Finer's 2002 Catalog Item 33

See: American Society Of Arms Collectors
GUNS OF THE MUNICH COURT WORKSHOP AND OTHER GERMAN WHEELLOCK GUNS OF THE PERIOD by Charles S. Hendricks
http://americansocietyofarmscollectors.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/B033_Hendricks.pdf

Mannerist Pattern-Books:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Mannerism

Etienne Delaune:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tienne_Delaune

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6/8/17
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Bronze Model Cannon
15 5/8 inches long
2 1/2 inches diameter at the base ring
1/2 inch bore

This bronze model cannon is another item from the late Jack Williams’ collection (F.E. Williams III). It has a beautiful patina and it looks a great deal like some of the 16th and 17th century Spanish cannons that are on display at the Castillo de san Marcos in St. Augustine Florida. The seal on the barrel is indecipherable, but the breach end is marked IDB.
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5/24/17
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