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Auction Date: September 12, 2014

Lot 1312: European - Flintlock

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A) Jean Jaley Flintlock Pistol
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $65,000
Item Views 258 Bid Activity Average
Serial #European - Flintlock ManufacturerEuropean ModelFlintlock
TypePistol Gauge69 Catalog Page142
Barrel7 1/2 Inch Round FinishBlack Grip
Stockebony ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis impressive pair of engraved and gold inlaid Jean Jaley flintlock pistols feature ebony stocks with fantastic mythical beast head carved butts. The lock plate is engraved with an image of a cherub and a lion positioned ahead of the hammer. The lock plate is signed "Jean Jaley" at the frizzen spring. The rear of the lock plate has a high relief engraving highlighted in gold. The same gold highlighted pattern engraving on the lock plate extends to the frizzen, hammer and top jaw. The frizzen is adorned with a three dimensional sculpted fish at the screw. The smooth large bore barrel features an attractive ornate engraving highlighted in gold. This engraving combines a vine floral pattern and cherubs and extends the length of the barrel. The barrel shows evidence of having an original deep black finish that would have, when originally leaving the shop, complemented the gold beautifully. The barrel tang is also gold highlighted engraved. The trigger guard and side plate are silver and feature a chiseled floral pattern, reflecting the same high quality craftsmanship as showcased with the other embellishments. The pistol is mounted on a full length ebony stock with high relief floral work generously carved around the barrel tang and between the trigger guard finial and rear ramrod pipe. A high relief escutcheon adorns the back of the grip area. The butt of the stock is beautifully carved in the motif of a fantastical mythical beast head. The head has inset eyes and carnivorous teeth. The eyes appear to be pearl and the teeth appear to be bone or antique ivory. The iron ramrod pipes are engraved and the horn ramrod has an iron tip. A simple internet search could only find a Jean Jaley (1802-1866) listed as a French sculptor. He was a pupil of his father, Louis Jaley (1763-1838), a medal engraver. According to our source, this Jean Jaley contributed sculpture to all the major state building projects of the July Monarchy (1830-48) and the Second Empire (1851-70), including statues of Jean-Sylvain Bailly and Victor Riqueti, Marquis de Mirabeau (both marble, 1833) for the Chambre des Députés, Paris, of St Ferdinand (stone, 1837-39) for the church of La Madeleine, Paris, and those representing London and Vienna (both stone, 1862) for the Gare du Nord, Paris (all in situ). Jaley also achieved contemporary renown for the elegant, Raphaelesque female nudes that he exhibited regularly at the Salon, with titles such as Prayer (marble, exh. Salon 1831; Paris, Louvre) and Modesty (marble, exh. Salon 1834; Paris, Ministere des Finances)." Louis Jaley was an accomplished engraver of medals with many of his medals exhibited at the National Library of France. While the maker of these pistols remain a bit of a mystery, there is no doubt that these pistols were handcrafted by a master craftsman, exhibiting the finest quality of period work.

ConditionExtremely fine. The metal surfaces have a smooth attractive coin appearance with traces of original black finish in the protected areas on the barrel. Much of the gold remains. The stock is very fine with a small hairline crack near the side plate and a few minor handling marks. The carving is crisp and well defined. Mechanically excellent.
B) Jean Jaley Flintlock Pistol
Serial #B) Jean Jaley Flintlock Pistol ManufacturerEuropean ModelFlintlock
TypePistol Gauge69 Catalog Page143
Barrel7 1/2 Inch Round FinishBlack Grip
Stockebony ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionAs described in "A", but with a different cherub and lion scene (see images).

ConditionExtremely fine. The barrel has a mottled gray patina with traces of original black finish remaining in the protected areas. Most of the gold remains. The stock is very fine with a long hairline crack near the lock plate and a few minor handling marks. The carving is crisp and well defined. Mechanically excellent.
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