Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1102: Tobias Grubb Attributed Flintlock Pistol

Auction Date: May 15, 2021

Rare Tobias Grubb Attributed Silver Mounted, Engraved, and Brass Barreled Flintlock Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $16,000

Rare Tobias Grubb Attributed Silver Mounted, Engraved, and Brass Barreled Flintlock Pistol

Manufacturer: American
Model: Flintlock
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 48
Barrel: 8 1/2 inch part octagon
Finish: bright/silver
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 1206
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 76
Class: Antique

This pistol is attributed to Tobias Grubb (1792-1872) of Lehigh County and later Crawford County, Pennsylvania. The pistol has strong similarities with the signed Tobias Grubb pistol page 217 of "Kentucky Rifles & Pistols, 1750-1850." The details around the front sight, molding on the forend, front of the trigger guard bow, trigger guard finial, and overall style are certainly consistent. Another somewhat similar unsigned pistol is pictured on page 254. Early American flintlock pistols, sometimes called "Kentucky Pistols," are comparably rare and valuable artifacts from our early history, and more ornate examples like this silver mounted pistol are especially desirable. The brass two-stage barrel has a smooth bore, silver blade front sight with light engraving around it, girdled transition point, floral engraving on the breech section, and additional floral engraving on the iron tang. The lock is signed "Sharpe" in script at center and has light engraving, including on the stepped tail. The forend cap, wedge escutcheons, ramrod pipes, trigger guard, pommel cap, side plates, oval wrist escutcheon, and inlay around the barrel tang are silver, and, with the exception of the wrist escutcheon, have floral engraving. The ramrod entry pipe has a raised star. The trigger guard finial, side plate, upper inlay, and pommel cap have pierced designs. The stock appears to be maple and has some light molding lines along the forend and around the pommel and a dark coat of reddish varnish, a popular finish in the Lehigh Valley.

Rating Definition:

Very good. The silver has attractive aged patina and generally displays distinct engraving. The barrel has a natural aged patina, distinct engraving, and some minor dings and scratches. The upper tang, lock , and trigger plate have dark gray and brown patina, mild oxidation and pitting, somewhat faded markings and engraving. The stock is also very good and retains most of the varnish with some finish loss at the edges, some slivers absent or filled along the ramrod channel, a chip absent at the breech on the right, faint hairline cracks, split in the ramrod channel, and mild scrapes and dings. Mechanically fine. This is a very attractive and rare early American flintlock pistol.

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