Rock Island Auction Company
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Lot 1391: Pair of Devisme Percussion Dueling/Target Pistols

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Cased Pair of Silver Inlaid, Engraved, and Relief Carved Percussion Dueling/Target Pistols by Devisme Dated 1851

Estimated Price: $6,000 - $9,000

A) Percussion Pistol

Manufacturer: Devisme FP
Model: Single Shot
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45
Barrel: 9 5/8 inch fluted
Finish: blue/silver/bright
Grip:
Stock: ebony
Item Views: 455
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 192
Class: Antique
Description:

Louis-Francois Devisme was a well-respected Parisian gunmaker through much of the 19th century and won numerous awards at French and international exhibitions, including the famous Great Exhibition (first World's Fair) in London in 1851, the same year these pistols were made. The rifled barrels have bead front sights, signed "DEVISME" (upper left) and "A PARIS" (upper right) in silver inlay along with silver inlaid scroll patterns, and fluted midsections. The underside of the barrels have "No 1055/DEVISME A PARIS/AN 1851," and the breech plugs have "1055" and "DEVISME." The inside of the locks also have "1055. The locks are signed "DEVISME A PARIS" among the etched and engraved patterns on the exterior, and in addition to the scroll patterns, the locks and furniture also feature a variety of mask designs. The stocks have relief carved scroll patterns on the forends and the fluted wrists. The inside of the forends have "JNI," a marking often found on French pistols with carved ebony stocks in this period. The case lid has engraved brass scroll inlays and a central escutcheon inscribed "LDD", and the interior of the lid has Devisme markings in gilt lettering. The case is closely fitted to the pistols and the included mallet, etched and engraved ball mold with Devisme markings that is embellished en suite with the pistols, convertible screwdriver/nipple wrench, small "DEVISME" marked measure, two round containers (one with spare nipples), and cleaning and loading rods. The compartment in the lower right contains the key and a brass copy of a 1790 dated George III guinea.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 70% plus period refinished blue finish showing some fading to smooth patina, some oxidation on under the stock line, mostly bright furniture with darker backgrounds and light patination, and mild handling and storage wear overall. The stock is very fine and has a faint crack in the wrist, crisp carving, minor marks and scratches, and generally minor overall wear. Mechanically fine. The case and accessories are very fine with generally light age and storage related wear along with some minor cracks in the refinished case exterior.



B) Percussion Pistol

Manufacturer: Devisme FP
Model: Single Shot
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45
Barrel: 9 5/8 inch fluted
Finish: blue/silver/bright
Grip:
Stock: ebony
Item Views: 455
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 192
Class: Antique
Description:

See "A."

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 70% period refinished blue finish remaining on the barrel with some fading to smooth brown patina, some oxidation under the stock line, aged patina on the silver inlays, mostly bright lock and furniture with dark backgrounds and light patination, and minor overall wear. The stock is very fine and has crisp carving, a few light marks and scratches, and some tiny hairline cracks at the nose of the lock and wedge escutcheon. Mechanically fine.



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