This is a desirable example of a pre-WWI, small ring commercial Mauser pistol that has been meticulously engraved and embellished by the Mauser factory. Accompanying this wonderful pistol is its original matching number stock that also exhibits a beautiful, fancy, highly figured walnut. The serial number of this pistol place the production circa 1907/08. There are several other highly embellished/engraved Mauser Model 1896 pistols that have similar styles of factory engraving in the book "The Broomhandle Pistol/1896-1936" by Erickson and Pate. This specific pistol is pictured on page 183 (Figure 219) of "The Mauser Self-Loading Pistol" by Belford and Dunlap. The engraving covers approximately 50% of the pistol and is comprised of a fine floral and vine pattern with flowers similar to Austrian edelweiss flowers with a fine line geometric style border around all the frame panels, the flat sections on the entire frame and upper receiver. The top of the barrel has also been with a similar floral and vine pattern with a heavier punch-dot type stippling on the very top section of the barrel. The chamber area is marked "WAFFENFABRIK/MAUSER/OBERNDORF A/N," and the left side is stamped with a single "Double Crown/U" proof, which is also stamped on the top rear section of the breech bolt. The right, rear frame panel is marked "WAFFENFABRIK MAUSER/OBERNDORF A. NECKAR". It is fitted with the standard fixed inverted front sight, adjustable rear sight graduated from 50 to 1,000 meters, and has the later style hammer with the circled "NS" New Safety markings. It is also fitted with a matching set of highly embellished walnut grips that is checkered in the center section and has a fine sliver wire border around the outer edges and diamond shaped wire inlays around the grip screw and lower area of the grip. The lower areas of the grip have also been inletted with two small mother of pearl diamonds. The butt of the frame still retains its original lanyard ring and stud. As noted, it is complete with its original, matching combination wooden shoulder stock/holster. The attaching iron is numbered "500" on top. The lower right side of the stock was carved with "LUTZOW/1944", probably by the GI who captured the pistol.
Very fine with 90% of the slightly thin original blue finish overall with only minor edge and high spot wear. The markings and engraving are all clear and sharp. The breechblock and extractor retain 50% of their original nitre blued finish. The safety lever and sight elevator are refinished. The walnut grips are fine condition with a nice dark brown color overall, nice, distinct checking on both sides, and the left side showing a few minor light pressure dents. The silver wire and pearl inlays are all complete. Mechanically excellent. The shoulder stock is in very good condition overall. It appears that it was stored inside something that left numerous marks on the sides. There is also a small age crack at the rear end of the stock underneath the hinge area. The metal parts retain 80% of their blue finish overall. Overall a very desirable and attractive Mauser pistol that has been meticulously engraved and embellished by the Mauser factory.
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