Kentucky pistols are very scarce and production was limited compared to rifles and fowling pieces and are very rarely found as matched pairs. Higher end pistols like these certainly command a premium. The consignor noted that these pistols bear a strong similarity to the Funk pistol pictured on pg. 225 in James Johnson's "Kentucky Rifles & Pistols 1750-1850". Funk was active in Strasburg, Shenandoah County, Virginia, in the early 19th century. The pair also shares features with pistols by Nicholas Hawk and others featured in the book. They have rifled barrels with circle and dot patterns on the muzzles, silver blade front sight, notch rear sights, and border designs at the breech ends. The locks have blank ovals with floral finials at the centers and light border designs. The forend caps, wedge escutcheons, ramrod pipes, trigger guard, lock screw washers, wrist escutcheons, and wrist panels are all silver. The full-length stocks are curly maple and have a flat sided "birds head" profile popularized on late 18th century English dueling pistols.
Very good as reconverted to flintlock with a protective coating over applied finish and brown patina on the barrel and lock, minor oxidation/pitting concentrated at the vent, natural aged patina on the silver turning especially dark on the lock screw washers, one pin absent from the right wrist inlay, and relatively minor overall wear. The stock is fine and has attractive curly figure, small chips near the nose of the lock, light scratches and dings, and minor overall wear. The cock will drop from half-cock if the trigger is pulled; otherwise, the pistol is mechanically fine.
Fine. This pistol appears to have remained in flintlock configuration and displays brown patina and mild oxidation on the lock and barrel, natural aged patina on the silver, repaired chip on the forend cap on the left, and mild overall wear. The stock is also fine and has attractive flame figure, a hairline crack at the forend tip on the right, a repaired chip on the opposite side, tiny hairline crack at the tip of the barrel tang, and mild scratches and dings including a group of small dents on the left side of the wrist. The lock needs some work and does not reliably hold full-cock. These are very attractive early American pistols. Kentucky pistols, especially silver mounted matched pairs, are rare and desirable antique American firearms and excellent additions to collections of Kentucky rifles or general antique American arms. A brace of pistols would have certainly been added reassurance for travelers headed to the frontier where having only one shot cost many their lives.
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