Rock Island Auction Company
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Lot 1396: Pair of Italian Snaphance Belt Pistols

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Desirable Pair of Chiseled, Engraved, and Pierced Italian Snaphance Belt Pistols

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $30,000

A) Snaphance Belt Pistol

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Snaphaunce
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 60
Barrel: 13 1/2 inch part octagon
Finish: bright
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 995
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 196
Class: Antique
Description:

The snaphance or snaphaunce is one of the earlier forms of flint and steel ignition and was introduced in the mid 16th century and remained in use in Northern Italy into the mid 18th century giving it a particularly long period of use, but they remain comparably hard to find and particularly desirable. More ornate pistols like these are highly sought after. This pair of pistols is from the latter portion of the snaphance's period of use and was almost certainly made in or near Brescia in Northern Italy and has the complex metalwork the region's pistols are known for. The multi-stage barrels have slightly flared cannon style muzzles, smooth midsections, girdled transition points, and floral vine engraving on the breech sections. The locks have coordinating engraving and also have pierced designs on the cocks, the pan fittings, and the steel arms. Among the designs are bestial motifs. The furniture and accents are also pierced and include complex scroll, floral, and animal designs, including multiple bird motifs. Belt hooks are fitted via the rear lock screws on the left. The pommel caps have red fabric behind them adding some interesting color and contrast.

Rating Definition:

Fine with mostly a pewter gray patina on the metal along with crisp designs and minimal light oxidation/pitting. The refinished stock is good with some subtle repaired cracks mainly in the forend, some small flakes absent, distinct molding and fluting along the forend, and a glossy finish. Mechanically fine.



B) Snaphance Belt Pistol

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Snaphaunce
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 60
Barrel: 13 1/2 inch part octagon
Finish: bright
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 995
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 196
Class: Antique
Description:

See "A."

Rating Definition:

Fine with a smooth pewter gray patina on most of the metal, crisp engraving, some spots of minor oxidation/pistol, and mild overall wear. The refinished stock is good and has some repaired cracks mainly in the forend, darker areas around the accent plates, a glossy finish, crack at the heel on the left, and nice fluting and molding on the forend. Mechanically fine.



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