A Fine Pair Of 28-Bore Danish Silver-Mounted Flintlock Holster Pistols
Lot 343
A Fine Pair Of 28-Bore Danish Silver-Mounted Flintlock Holster Pistols
By Valentin Marr, Copenhagen, Circa 1750
Sold for £8,750 (US$ 14,828) inc. premium
Auction Details
A Fine Pair Of 28-Bore Danish Silver-Mounted Flintlock Holster Pistols
Lot Details
A Fine Pair Of 28-Bore Danish Silver-Mounted Flintlock Holster Pistols
By Valentin Marr, Copenhagen, Circa 1750
With tapering swamped sighted barrels each with sighting flat and finely chiselled in relief at the breech with rococo ornament comprising scrolls and rocailles around an architectural feature, all against a punched and gilt ground, at the rear a raised moulding slotted for sighting, shaped bright tangs engraved with a rocaille and foliage, signed rounded locks each with moulded border and chiselled in relief with a rococo spray on the tail, cock, and steel, moulded figured full stocks each carved in relief with a rocaille and foliage behind the barrel tang and with a flower and foliage behind the rear ramrod-pipe, characteristic flattened butts (one repaired), mounts cast and chased with rococo ornament in relief en suite with the breeches, all against a punched ground and comprising shaped side-plates and trigger-guards, large shaped escutcheons each charged with owner's coat-of-arms, a bear surmounted by a plumed helm, spurred pommels each with domed oval cap, and ramrod-pipes with baluster turns fore and aft, horn fore-end caps (one cracked), and horn-tipped ramrods (one replaced, the steel parts with scattered very minor surface pitting) (2)
28.2 cm. barrels

Footnotes

  • Valentin Marr (1696-1786) was the leading Danish gunmaker of the middle decades of the eighteenth century. Of Thuringen origin, he left his native town, Zelk St. Blasii, for Stockholm in 1727, where for two years he worked as a journeyman for David Bars. By 1732 he was back in Copenhagen, receiving citizenship in 1733, in which year he presented a splendid pair of pistols mounted in carved and engraved mother-of-pearl (an innovation at the time) to King Christian VI (now at Rosenborg Castle - inv. nos. 13-256/266). Within a few years he was turning out numerous further commissions for the use of the King, Queen and Court (many of them still in the Tøjhusmuseet and at Rosenborg), and was described in 1747 as the City's best gunmaker. From 1759 to 1775 he served as Master of the Royal Armoury. In line with his Thuringian origin, much of his work resembles that of the famous Stockmar workshop at Heidersbach, near Suhl

    Cf. a silver-mounted pistol made by Valentin Marr in 1738, formerly in the Clay. P. Bedford Collection, sold at Christie's South Kensington, Antique Arms and Armour, 15 July 1998, lot 249; and a pair presented to King Frederick VIII by George, Duke of Cambridge, now in the Tøjhusmuseet, (Illustrated Guide to the Danish Arsenal Museum), Copenhagen, 1962, pp. 98-99.

    See A. Hoff, H.D. Schepelern and G. Boesen, Royal Arms at Rosenborg, Copenhagen, 1955, pp. 165-6, 168-171, 174-180, 182 and 210, pls. 78, 80, 82-85, 87 and 88; and John Hayward, The Art of the Gunmaker, vol. II, 1963, pp. 171-172
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