A Very Fine Spanish 25-Bore Madrid-Lock Holster Pistol
Lot 325*
A Very Fine Spanish 25-Bore Madrid-Lock Holster Pistol
Sold for £7,250 (US$ 12,128) inc. premium
Lot Details
A Very Fine Spanish 25-Bore Madrid-Lock Holster Pistol
By Benito S. Martin, Madrid, Circa 1760
With two-stage barrel retaining virtually all its blued finish and with baluster moulding at the muzzle, turned girdle chiselled with acanthus, octagonal breech becoming polygonal, signed in gold between gold-inlaid foliage and struck with two gold-lined punzónes of the maker (Neue Støckel 743, 744), gold-lined touch-hole, bright border engraved tang decorated with a scallop shell and foliage against a finely punched ground, bright border engraved flat lock with moulded border, signed and decorated with a seated sportsman and his gun-dog in a landscape beneath the faceted pan, and with a trophy of arms on the tail, the decoration against finely punched grounds, bright cock and steel en suite with the tang, the former partly on a punched and gilt ground, the head of the retaining screw en suite, highly figured rootwood full stock (fore-end with two minor splits) with moulded borders and carved with foliage behind the rear ramrod-pipe and barrel tang, bright steel mounts comprising side-plate pierced and chiselled with foliate strapwork inhabited by sea-monsters and incorporating a vacant escutcheon, border engraved spurred pommel decorated on both sides with a putti seated amid a martial trophy, and ovoidal butt-cap chiselled with foliage against a finely punched ground within a border of engraved foliage, faceted trigger-guard with chiselled finial involving a mustachioed grotesque mask and decorated with foliage on the border engraved bow, turned rear ramrod-pipe engraved with a flower-head, blued slotted steel barrel band also forming the forward ramrod-pipe, wooden ramrod with turned horn tip, and in fine condition retaining nearly all its original finish
30 cm. barrel


  • The pair to this pistol is in the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum

    Benito San Martin was active during the middle years of the eighteenth century and was the disciple of Diego Ventura. Following his death in 1762, his son Roque used his mark (Saint Martin dividing his cloak) on inferior barrels with the result that the genuine products of his father lost their deserved reputation. See James Lavin, A History Of Spanish Firearms 1965, pp. 141 and 276, no. 90

    For a pair of pistols by Diego Ventura with very similar lock decoration and clearly showing the influence of the Master on the disciple, see Thomas Del Mar Ltd. in association with Sotheby's, Arms, Armour & Militaria, London, 9 December 2009, lot 273
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  1. David Williams
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