Pair of Flintlock Pistols

Pair of Flintlock Pistols

c. 1670

Part of a set. See all set records

Steel, chiseled decoration with walnut stock

Overall: 45.1 cm (17 3/4 in.); Barrel: 27.6 cm (10 7/8 in.); Bore: 1.3 cm (1/2 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.52

Fun Fact

This type of pistol fired only once before needing to be reloaded, so they were often produced in matched pairs. Even the trigger is decorated on these beautifully ornate weapons. Look closely to compare how a skilled craftsman carefully matched the patterning on these two guns.

Description

The chiseling of gun ornament is a task comparable to sculpture on a miniature scale, carried out in an extremely hard material. Since this was usually beyond the skill of most gunsmiths, it was not uncommon for such work to be contracted out as occurred here.

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