This beautiful pair of muff pistols was manufactured by Alfred Gauvain (1801-1889) early in his career, likely in the early 1800's. It is also possible that they were made by Gauvain under the guidance of his father-in-law, Leonard Cramon of Bordeaux, who was also a well-known gunmaker from 1766 until his death. The bottom of the breech on the "B" gun is marked "GAUVAIN/GENDRE DE" (GUVAIN/SON-IN-LAW OF) while the bottom of the breech on "A" is marked "CRAMON/A BORDEAUX" (CRAMON/IN BORDEAUX), which establishes this connection between the two. It is not entirely clear whether Gauvain apprenticed under Cramon or if this was simply a marketing strategy. The locks of the pair are each engraved with a stand of arms on the left, axes and a bow on the right, and laurel wreathes on the bottom, with the side scenes surrounded by floral scroll, of which there are also flourishes on the frizzen. The cocks have bestial heads and there is a laurel border where the barrel meets the breach. The grips of each are inlaid with fine vine-like silver wire and blank silver escutcheons in the palm area. They are fitted with turn-off cannon barrels with a wedding band and wrench lug, folding triggers, and sliding hammer stalls on top of the locks.
Very good, showing mostly bright with a few scattered patches of light surface pitting or darker patina and crisp engraving overall. The grip is showing a slight warp on the right leaving a small gap with the frame, minimal light handling marks, and retaining all the silver inlay. Mechanically excellent.
Very good, showing mostly a bright finish with a few patches of a darker patina and a few scattered patches of light surface pitting. The grip is also very good showing some slight warping on the right leaving a small gap with the frame, a few minor dings, and retaining all the silver inlay. Mechanically excellent.
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