A Very Fine And Rare Pair Of Dutch 20-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols

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Lot 352
A Very Fine And Rare Pair Of Dutch 20-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols
By Beckers A Maestrecht (sic), Circa 1700

£ 10,000 - 12,000
US$ 14,000 - 17,000
A Very Fine And Rare Pair Of Dutch 20-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols
By Beckers A Maestrecht (sic), Circa 1700
With tapering barrels each in three stages with raised mouldings, some between engraved borders of foliage, at the muzzle and breech, the former each with brass fore-sight, the latter each chiselled in low relief with a Classical trophy of arms, a banner inscribed 'Beckers A Mastricht (sic)' above, border engraved tangs each with back-sight within a tubular cover, rounded locks (one mainspring loose, two side-nails replaced) each with moulded border, signed beneath the steel-spring and chiselled in relief with a trophy of arms beneath the pan, the engraved background involving a bound captive, each tail chiselled with a foliated demi-figure against engraved foliage, cocks (one top jaw, screw and retaining screw replaced) and steels en suite, the former chiselled with a cherub and foliage issuing from a monster-head, the latter with symmetrical foliage, moulded figured full stocks (minor old splits) carved in relief along each side of the fore-ends (minor damage) with foliage involving a monster's head, trumpets issuing from their mouths, around the tangs with foliage, a trophy of arms behind, and with a bearded grotesque mask in front the trigger-guard finial, the back of each butt inlaid with silver wire scrollwork enriched with silver pellets, steel mounts chiselled in relief and comprising pierced foliate scroll side-plates each centred on a human mask, vacant escutcheons with pierced foliate borders, a grotesque mask above a human mask beneath, large spurred pommels with a trophy of arms on each side and grotesque mask caps, the ground with engraved details and all within borders of chiselled foliage, trigger-guards with moulded borders and each with foliate finial, baluster ramrod-pipes, the rear ones each with a grotesque mask with pointed nose, and later steel-capped ramrods (steel parts with minor wear in places and russet overall) (2)
32.7 cm. barrels

Footnotes

  • The maker is probably Mathieu (also Mattis) Beckers recorded as a gunmaker and stockmaker in Maastricht from around 1682 to about 1736. For more information see H.L. Visser & D.W. Bailey, editors, Aspects of Dutch Gunmaking..., 1997, pp. 160, 173, 181 and 190; and Drs. G. de Vries & Drs. B.J. Martens, Hartmans' Dutch Gunmakers from the 15th to the 20th Century, 2006, pp. 242-243

    Details in the design of the carving on the stocks, the silver wire inlay, and the chiselled decoration on some of the iron parts, differ between the two pistols. This was done deliberately, as on other contemporary pairs of pistols, and the practice seems to have been restricted to those of the finest quality
Contacts
A Very Fine And Rare Pair Of Dutch 20-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols
A Very Fine And Rare Pair Of Dutch 20-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols
A Very Fine And Rare Pair Of Dutch 20-Bore Flintlock Holster Pistols
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