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Posted: 9/18/2018 1:56:49 PM EDT
A friend of mine recently recieved this set of pistols. Base off of this picture, can it be determined if they are reproductions or original? No markings of stamping are visible on the metal. Matching 4 digit number pressed into the wood. Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 9/19/2018 12:57:55 PM EDT
Whenever they were made, they are original (i.e. not from a kit).

They would need to be further disassembled and inspected to get an idea of when the lock-work and barrels were made.

The buttcap and trigger guards are nice work.

It's worth something, but needs further provenience.

Your friend is lucky.
Link Posted: 9/19/2018 1:11:58 PM EDT
BTW, the buttcaps are in the style of Joseph Egg (London). If it was from his shop it would be signed.
Link Posted: 9/19/2018 2:51:51 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Blindeye:
BTW, the buttcaps are in the style of Joseph Egg (London). If it was from his shop it would be signed.
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Thank you. When I get to see them in person, I’ll take a closer look and take more pictures. He received them from a somewhat famous entertainer (along with 10 other firearms) from the 70-80s. They were left to him in his will. My friend didn’t know anything about t until a probate attorney contacted him.
Link Posted: 9/21/2018 4:28:12 PM EDT
Those are modern copies in the LePage style. Probably date for the 70's or so, I've seen these copies made in both Spain and Italy, and this set does look Spanish made. The case is also contemporary in construction. It's a nice set and looks like they have never been fired.
Link Posted: 9/21/2018 6:51:28 PM EDT
I have seen a lot of Spanish and Italian percussion/flintlock pistols, and I don't know how anyone can say that's a copy/modern reproduction from the pictures.

The buttcap is a distinctive style of the French and British makers of the late 18th and 19th centuries. The cap is scalloped and forms a deep ridge that was considered (at the time) useful for clubbing a man's skull after the pistol was fired. The buttcap would fracture and open the skull. Copies of this distinctive design are almost always more shallow and show that the original purpose is unknown to the person copying this feature.

The butt and fore-end furrules are also well done and not typical of modern reproductions. Obviously any skilled gunsmith could produce something like this if they wanted to spend the time, but then the pistol has value for those skills alone.

Finally, the back-action lock isn't something I see on the low cost Spanish reproductions (or for that matter, that I've ever seen on modern Spanish reproductions).

In the 19th century there were some very talented gunsmiths in both Italy and Spain, and the damascened pistols from Spain are their own special niche of collecting (and one that I don't have the money to pursue). However, that's not the style of the Spanish pistols of that period, and the decorative flourishes aren't typical either.

I still maintain it's either a French or British set from the mid-1800's (more likely French) or the work from a talented smith's shop who in no way was trying to produce a "fake".

Disassembly will answer most of these questions.
Link Posted: 9/21/2018 8:10:30 PM EDT
BTW, if I had to guess, I think it was made late 1800's or early 1900's from NOS that was in a gunmakers inventory.

Those parts didn't really dry up until after WW2 (I don't mean to imply they available just anywhere).

I still see never used antique locks wrapped in oilcloth/brown paper show up at gunshows now and then. Really gives you an appreciation how manufacturing has progressed.
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