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Pistol


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Preview: £2001-£10,000

23 September 2019

Our weekly selection from salerooms.

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Pick of the pistol hammer highs

12 August 2019

Fine sets of pistols, preferably nicely cased, have long been the mainstay of London arms and armour sales. This season’s crop were not as plentiful nor so eagerly contested as we sometimes see, but there were some gems on offer and a selection of them are illustrated here.

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Stopping power to halt an angry tiger

12 August 2019

In the days of the British Raj there was no shortage of would-be shikaris hoping to bag a tiger in India. At the same time plenty of London gunsmiths were ready to supply them with all the fire-power they could persuade them to buy.

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Lady's pistols made in Birmingham offered in Freiburg

01 July 2019

From the 18th century onwards, the city of Birmingham was a major centre of the British gun-making industry.

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Flintlock pistols marked London hail from the Balkans

29 April 2019

The inscription London on the barrels of this pair of 19th century, silver-mounted flintlock pistols is entirely spurious.

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Arms and armour: Prized pistols tempt collectors at auction

28 January 2019

Pistols remain one of the most popular of all categories among gun collectors and the winter sales in London proved a bumper season for handguns, from the earliest wheel-locks of the late 16th century to the semi-automatics which ushered in the modern age at the end of the 19th century.

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Excellent English examples of pistols trigger bidding

28 January 2019

The Thomas Del Mar (24% buyer’s premium) sale in London on December 5 included several excellent pairs of English pistols.

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Scottish pistol prize in Pennsylvania

17 December 2018

The highlight of the specialist sale of firearms and militaria held by Pook & Pook (22% buyer’s premium) in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, on November 17 was this matched pair of 18th century flintlock pistols.

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18th century Scottish Doune pistols offered in Pennsylvania

12 November 2018

The Scottish gun-making workshop of Doune in Perthshire produced pistols that were a firearm of choice for highland clansmen but were also favoured by wealthy socialites.

UK auction rooms ‘not aware’ of new laws on deactivated firearms

29 October 2018

The National Ballistics and Intelligence Service (NABIS) has warned of a rise in defectively deactivated firearms offered at auction since the law changed this summer.

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Antique guns are not a legal loophole, say trade associations

27 August 2018

Trade associations have defended the current firearms laws in the UK amid accusations on a BBC Panorama programme of a ‘loophole’ in gun control.

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Manton duelling pistols on target in Abingdon auction

06 August 2018

Signed in gold to the 10in (25cm) damascus barrels Manton London, the best-known name among London gunsmiths, a cased pair of 25-bore flintlock duelling pistols led the specialist arms and armour sale held by Antony Cribb (22% buyer’s premium) at Abingdon on July 24.

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Pistols display their finery

06 August 2018

It took a bid of €60,000 (£53,100) to secure a pair of flintlock pistols of c.1730 from the armoury of the Princes of Lobkowitz at Hermann Historica (25% buyer’s premium) in Munich in May.

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Writing box secret drawer reveals a sharpshooter pistol rather than sharp nib

09 May 2018

When we wrote about Charles Miller’s latest auction in London one of the star lots was a magnificent Asprey travelling case for the gentleman who needs everything. However, it was missing one particular item which a writing box on offer at the Dominic Winter May 18 sale provides.

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Continental pistol rarities at London auction

29 January 2018

The same French collection that brought the fine pair of Boutet pistols to the Thomas Del Mar Sale on December 6 also included a number of later Continental pistols that were rare and certainly unfamiliar to most British collectors.

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Keep your eye on the brawl…

29 January 2018

Holt’s (25/20% buyer’s premium) sale in London on December 14 included two prime examples of weapons designed to get their owners out of a tight corner.

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Get a handle on the pistols market

29 January 2018

The latest recent arms and armour sales on both sides of the Atlantic serves only to reinforce the impression that pistols remain a huge favourite with collectors in this field.

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Singer: from sewing machine to gun maker

29 January 2018

When the US Government invited arms manufacturers to tender designs for a new standard-issue pistol for the US Army in the early 1900s the winner was Colt, with a system devised by John Moses Browning.

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Pistols coming up at Thomas Del Mar auction show significance of an impressive provenance

02 December 2017

Fine quality and condition are big factors in value for antique weapons, but an impressive provenance also fires the imagination, as two lots coming up in the Thomas Del Mar auction on December 6 demonstrate.

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Beckwith pistols pair hits the target

02 October 2017

Top-seller at guns specialist Southams (15% buyer’s premium) in Bedford on September 20 was acased pair of flintlock double-barrelled travelling pistols.