Jean-Louis Francois Devisme's shop was among the most accomplished producers of artistic firearms for the elite in France and beyond in the 19th century. He earned an Honorable Mention at the French Industrial Exposition of 1834, silver medals at the exhibitions in 1839 and 1841, and numerous other awards at the World's Fairs in the 1840s to 1860s. These pistols were built the same year Devisme crafted a pair of pinfire pistols for Napoleon III and was also the same year Napoleon became emperor. These pistols feature extensive and elaborate floral scroll engraving, inlays, and carving. The barrels have ten-groove round bottom rifling, post front sights on thin dovetailed bases, "Devisme a Paris" in gold inlay on the top flats, gold inlaid scrolls and bands, and "DEVISME A PARIS No 1074 - 1852" marked on the bottoms at the breech. The bottom of barrel "B" also has a "1" ahead of the staple. The locks have "DEVISME A PARIS" under the hammers, stepped tails, and "DEVISME 1074" inside above the mainsprings. The serial number is also repeated on the breech hooks and barrel keys. The stocks are cut from beautiful dark ebony with some subtle brown tones and have incised, relief carved, interlaced scroll patterns and blank wrist escutcheons. The case has "26 BOULEVART DES ITALIENS/DEVISME/ARQUEBUSIER BREVETE" in gold lettering inside the lid, wine colored interior lining, and fitted compartments for the pistols and a set of coordinating loading and maintenance equipment. The bullet mold is engraved.
Very fine with 80% original high polish blue finish, brown patina where the finish has flaked, 90% plus original gold inlay, mostly French gray/gray patina on the remaining metal components, some light oxidation, crisp engraving, and mild overall wear mainly from age and storage. The stock is also very fine and has crisp carving, attractive dark coloration, a thin crack on the left side of the forend, and some light scratches and dings. Mechanically fine. The case is fine. The exterior has some cracks, flakes, and small pieces absent. The right hinge is detached from the bottom of the case. The interior has mostly mild contact wear and an absent lid for the lower right compartment. The accessories are also fine and have minor storage wear.
As described in "A."
Very fine with 85% of the original high polish blue finish remaining, brown patina where the finish has flaked, 90% plus original gold inlay, crisp engraving, mostly a blend of French gray and gray patina on the remaining metal components, light oxidation, and general mild overall wear from age and storage. The stock is also very fine and has crisp carving, attractive dark coloration, a few minor cracks in the toe section, and the usual light scratches and dings for a well-maintained weapon of this age. Mechanically fine. This is a very attractive pair of pistols by one of Paris' premier armsmakers in the mid-19th century. Provenance: Dr. Gerald Klaz collection.
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