Very Rare & Unique Identified Civil War Sutler Inscribed Sharps Model 2A 4-Shot Pepperbox Pocket Pistol, .30 RF, mfg. ca. early 1860's. Sutlers during the Civil War were army appointed merchants who would follow the army and supply men in the field with regular goods. Generally one sutler was appointed to a regiment. These dealers were crucial in keeping the men supplied with goods that the army either didn't offer or could not supply fast enough. In all our years of collecting this is the only firearm we have encountered that was identified to a Civil War sutler. Production of the Sharps Pepperbox began just prior to the Civil War and the guns proved to be handy privately purchased pocket guns for soldiers. This example is period inscribed on the right side of the frame "J. L. Myers / Sutler 105 N.Y.". Little information is available regarding the specific sutlers that existed, though they numbered in the thousands, however it would seem that J. L. Myers was the sutler to the 105th New York Infantry, aka "The Le Roy" Regiment, and this pistol was his personal property. The 105th New York was formed on March 15th, 1862 and participated in the Battles of Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, And Fredericksburg. In March of 1863 the 105th was consolidated into the 94th New York Infantry who went onto to fight at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, where they took particularly heavy losses on the first and third days of fighting, as well as Cold Harbor, Petersburg, White Oak Ridge, Five Forks, and the Appomattox Campaign among others. The pistol remains in very nice totally original condition showing vivid traces of bluing within protected area of the barrel, the balance having faded to plum/gray. The brass frame shows approximately 25% original Silver finish which has turned black with age. The remainder of the brass has turned a pleasing mellow patina. The checkered gutta percha grips fit perfect and show light wear. There is a tightly repaired old crack vertically through the right grip with a tiny old chip on the left front toe. Matching serial numbers on the butt and under the barrels with clear Sharps markings. The action and rotating firing pin are crisp and function flawlessly. The barrels release and lock up tightly against the frame as they should. Fair bores with strong sharp rifling front to back and moderately scattered blackpowder frosting. This is a very special pistol that tells a little known yet vastly important aspect of the Civil War. It would certainly make a unique and prominent addition to any Civil War collection.
Rare North & Couch Hand Held Percussion Animal Trap Pepperbox, .28 Cal, mfg. 1860's. Although these guns could be fired like a conventional pepperbox by using the standard trigger they were primarily intended for use as an animal trap being suspended from a tree or stake by way of the lanyard bolster on the backstrap. A second trigger in front of the barrel cluster was tied to a baited cord or rod which when pulled by the animal released the disk hammer firing all six barrels simultaneously. This is a wonderfully untouched 100% original example. The metal has turned an even plum/gray patina throughout with smooth, crisp surfaces. The original wood grips show moderate wear and retain much of their original varnish. Aside from slight rounding at the front toe on either side they have no chips or cracks. Original triggers, disk hammer, and lanyard bolster. The action functions strong and properly with both triggers and the nipple is a clean original. A fine and attractive example of one of the most intriguing and collectible firearms oddities ever made!
M1842 H. Aston US Military Percussion Pistol with Incredible Frontier Saddle Wear, .54 cal smoothbore, mfg. 1849. I think it's safe to say this is the most saddle wear I have ever seen on a pistol! I really wish this one could talk. It is likely this pistol saw either hard use on the frontier or perhaps in the hands of a Confederate cavalryman. What is certain is that it was carried on horseback without a proper holster for many years. The metal has a very rich dark plum patina throughout with clear original lock markings. The barrel markings have worn away. Inspector's marks visible on the sideplate, triggerguard, and buttcap. The wood retains a wonderfully untouched finish and has two or three illegible initials carved into the left side. So much wood has worn away between the triggerguard and the barrel band that the ramrod is fully visible! The wood forward of the lock has also worn in over 1/8" deep with significant thumb wear along the left side of the barrel tang. There is a typical 3/8" crack forward of the rear lock screw and a stable old 2" crack under the rear of the lock with natural loss around the rest of the lock. Brass buttcap, triggerguard, sideplate, and barrel band have a perfectly untouched mellow patina. Original hammer, trigger, and brass blade front sight. The ramrod and swivel appear to be contemporary replacements. The action is very strong however just barely will not hold full cock. The nipple is a damaged original. This pistol really tells a story and is just fun to hold and imagine where it's been. Picture's don't do it justice!
Scarce Massive Pinfire Double Barrel "Howdah" Dangerous Game Pistol with Underlever, 15mm Pinfire (approx. .60 Cal), mfg. ca. 1860's. During the 19th century safari hunters in India would hunt dangerous game from the top of Elephants inside platforms called "Howdahs". Tigers and Leopards could easily scale the side of an elephant when provoked creating a very dangerous situation for the hunter. In response to this issue, large bore double barrel pistols were manufactured that could defend the hunter in close quarters. This massive example measures just under 12 3/4" long and fires a 15mm Pinfire cartridge, or approximately .60 caliber by American standards. It shows all the appropriate wear and use of a pistol that truly saw use in the jungle. The Belgium proofed barrels measure 7 3/4" long and feature a brass bead front sight. The frame and triggerguard are lightly engraved. Overall the gun has a very rich dark plum patina with old pinprick pitting along the backstrap and lightly scattered around the barrels. The carved wood grips have a beautifully worn, dark untouched finish. They show heavy marring with a faint 3/4" crack on the left side behind the frame and a tiny chip below the tip of the upper tang. Original forward mounted underlever, spurred triggerguard, fluted iron buttcap with lanyard ring, and matching hammers. The triggerguard is very loose. The right action is crisp and functions nicely while the left seems to be a bit finicky and sometimes requires a little forward tension on the trigger to hold cock. Otherwise it has a good spring to it. The bores show strong rifling with heavily scattered blackpowder frosting. There is considerable play between the barrels and frame when closed and the underlever is very loose. A great representation of a massive double barrel Howdah pistol that surely saw all the romance and dangers of safari hunting during the Victorian era!
Very Rare Wild West Gambler's Cased George Wostenholm, Sheffield, IXL "California" or "Louisiana" Style Push Dagger & Hopkins & Allen Dictator Pocket Revolver, Nickel Plated, .32 RF, mfg. ca. 1890. Push daggers and pocket pistols were the preferred weapons of the 19th century gambler and this rare cased set is a spectacular example. The push dagger is made by celebrated knife maker George Wostenholm of Sheffield, England, and is marked "IXL" on the ricasso with "WOSTENHOLM / SHEFFIELD" visible on the opposite side (top line is illegible). The dagger measures 6 3/8" long overall featuring a 4 1/2" double edged blade (actual edge measures 3 7/8"). The blade shows moderate proper sharpening with no nicks or chips and retains a smooth gray patina. The Ebony handle is pinned through the back and shows nice honest wear with no chips or cracks. The heavy Silver plated steel scabbard retains approximately 40% original finish turned black and features two spring clips within to securely hold the knife in placed when sheathed. The pistol, though only marked "DICTATOR" on top of the frame, is undoubtedly made by Hopkins & Allen. It features a 2 11/16" octagon barrel and measures 6 3/4" long overall. The gun retains 85% bright original Nickel finish with vivid case color remaining on the hammer and trigger. The checkered hard rubber grips are excellent with no chips or cracks and feature a four-leaf clover motif at the center (fitting for a gambler's gun!). Original screws, cylinder pin, and blade front sight. The action is crisp and functions like new, however the cylinder seems to index slightly beyond the point where it should lock up when cocked. A little oiling of the cylinder locking spring will likely remedy this. Dirty bore with worn yet visible rifling. A proper cleaning may improve it. The barrel threads are for some reason are not fully tightened within the frame and subsequently the barrel unthreads with little effort. The cloth lined case features very nicely recessed indentations for the pistol and dagger. It features quality brass hinges, "ENGLISH LATCH" marked lock, and an oval nameplate escutcheon. The wood retains much of it's original finish and has a red leatherette covering on the bottom. The push dagger is of course the prize of the lot but to find a set like this complete in the original case is a truly rare find! A very rare and impressive set that will be a highlight among any wild west or antique knife collection. NOTE! Due to push dagger restrictions no sales to Massachusetts, New Jersey, NYC, or Washington D.C. Please know your local and state laws prior to purchase.