Category Firearms & Military
Auction Currency USD
Start Price 20,000.00 USD
Estimated at 40,000.00 - 50,000.00 USD
FLINTLOCK PISTOLS DATED 1808 & NUMBERED 1659. Cal. 54. S# 1659. Bbl. 10 1/16”. President George Washington selected Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) as the location of one of the two new United States armories to be constructed. Harpers Ferry sits at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, providing ample water power for a variety of manufacturing pursuits. Construction began in 1799 on the new arsenal and arms production facility. The Harpers Ferry Arsenal manufactured the first arsenal produced military handgun, the model 1805 smooth bore pistol. The M1805 pistols were numbered and issued in pairs. Therefore, of the 4,096 manufactured, the highest serial number would be 2048, as each pistol in a pair was numbered identically. Of the 4,096 produced, it believed that approximately 456 were manufactured at Harpers Ferry, dated 1808. Given the survival rate of pistols from this period, we can assume 1808-dated pistols are the second rarest date encountered. This fine pair is serial numbered “1659”. Each pistol has a round barrel with an eagle over “P” in oval proof, as well as a “US” in oval proof on the left side adjacent to the serial number, “1659”. Both pistols are original flint with the original lock intact. The locks feature a spread-wing American eagle over “US” in front of the cocks, and “HARPERS FERRY 1808” to the rear of the cocks. The pistols have brass trigger guards, buttcaps with side straps, side plates, nose bands, and entry thimbles. Both pistols have finely matched, brass tipped wooden ramrods that appear to be early replacements. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: a book by Rick Hudak titled “HARPERS FERRY ARSENAL AND JOSEPH PERKIN: The Classic Arms of the Early Years”. CONDITION: pistol A: this pistol has a medium gray, smooth patina on the barrel. The touch hole is unaltered and shows wear, commensurate with the overall condition of the pistol. The lock also has a medium gray patina. The lock holds both full & half cock. Brass has a pleasing light mustard patina. The stock has a small, tight 1" crack from the side plate just below the rear screw, extending towards the rear pin. There is a tiny lifted, but not detached, chip at the top of the right side-strap. Very good bore. Pistol B: this pistol has a medium gray, lightly cleaned finish on the barrel. The touch hole is a bit large, attesting to the greater use of this pistol. The lock has a medium gray, very lightly pitted & lightly cleaned patina. The lock holds both full & half cock. Brass has a pleasing, rich mustard patina. The stock has a 1 1/4" tight crack extending from the rear side plate screw to just above the rear pin. There is a small loss at the top of the left sidestrap. There is also a small pieced-in repair at the lower front of the lock plate. Very good bore. PROVENANCE: from The Collection of Rick Hudak, author of, "Harpers Ferry Arsenal and Joseph Perkin". (01-23199/BF). $40,000-50,000.