American flintlock pistols by individual gunmakers, often termed Kentucky pistols as companions to the famous Kentucky rifles, are rare, especially silver mounted matched pairs. By some estimates, there are hundreds of surviving rifles per pistol. These elegant silver mounted pistols would have been well-suited to a gentleman in the East or one of the growing river towns of the frontier. They were crafted by Jacob Resor II (1784-1845), possibly before he moved to Cincinnati in 1811. Once in Cincinnati, he continued to work as a gunmaker but also expanded into other metal goods. Other members of his family were also gunmakers, including his father, Peter Resor (1750-1823), who was a gunmaker in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and then Hagerstown, Maryland, and later Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. Jacob Resor may have started off on his own around 1805 and after he finished his apprenticeship. The style of the pistols is consistent with a few other known Resor pistols and shows the influence of late 18th century English dueling pistols on trends in American pistols. They are very similar to the single pistol by Resor shown on page 238 of "Kentucky Rifles and Pistols, 1750-1850," but this pair has fancier silver mounts. The rifled barrels are signed "J Resor" in script and feature dovetailed blade front sights and engraved bands at the breech ends. The imported "KETLAND/ Co." locks have some light engraving on the cocks and screws and stepped tails. The forend caps, ramrod pipes, trigger guards, engraved lock screw washers, engraved scroll pattern inlays around the barrel tangs, and the border engraved wrist escutcheons are all silver. The stocks have some nice molding along the forends, light accents at the tail of the side panels, and flat sided wrists with slight bird's head profile.
Fine with a coat of dried oil over the otherwise mostly bright lock and barrel, distinct markings, mild pitting over the vent, light pitting elsewhere, and generally mild wear. The silver retains natural aged patina and distinct engraving. The revarnished stock is also fine and has some thin cracks mainly on the left at the forend tip and on the wrist and a small chip at the edge of the lock mortise but is otherwise very smooth with light handling and storage marks and attractive figure. Mechanically excellent.
Fine as cleaned with light oil staining on the otherwise fairly bright lock and barrel, minor pitting, natural aged patina on the silver, crisp engraving and markings, and minor marks and scratches. The revarnished stock is also fine and has attractive figure, some thin cracks in the forend tip, and limited dings and handling marks. Mechanically excellent.
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