Lot #1396
Lot #1398

Lot 1397: Pair of Flintlock Revolving Pistols by Johann Adam Knod

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Lot 1397: Pair of Flintlock Revolving Pistols by Johann Adam Knod

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Estimated Price: $32,500 - $45,000
Price Realized:

A) Bohemian Flintlock Revolver

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Flintlock Pistol
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 52
Barrel: 9 1/2 inch round
Finish: gold
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2005
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 198
Class: Antique
Description:

Multi-shot flintlock pistols were the forerunners of the true revolvers of the 19th century and are rare and highly desirable antique arms. The system used on these pistols is similar to the "wender" or "turn-over" design employed on double barrel pistols and long guns in the flintlock era, but instead of having multiple complete barrels, the pistols each have three 3 3/4 inch chambers that rotate to align with the main barrel. Each chamber has its own pan, frizzen, and long frizzen spring like the Wender pistols, but they are mounted on longer brass bars and use a very long and fairly straight frizzen spring. The chambers are mounted to two circular plates, and can be hand rotated by pulling back on the front of the trigger guard bow. They are loaded manually through holes in the front plate using the short ramrods. The pistols each have a single back action lock. Since each chamber has its own pan and frizzen, no complicated automatic priming system is needed with this design. The arrangement also keeps the vents out of line with one another which should limit the risk of chain fires. The design overall is an interesting and straightforward solution to getting multiple shots out of a flintlock without reloading. The metal components are nearly all gilt brass. The smoothbore barrels have rounded blade front sights, scroll engraving, and "Johan Adam Knod- In CarlsBaadt" signed on the raised sighting ribs which have border engraving. The pinned forends have horn forend caps, gilt brass ramrod pipes, and nice molding and relief carving. The chambers have scroll and disgorging mask designs. The locks and side plates feature scenes of deer being pursued by dogs. The other furniture features scroll patterns, classical figures, and grotesque mask pommel studs. The stocks have raised relief scroll carving and borders. Johann Adam Knod (Knodt) was first active around 1708 to 1717 in Vienna and was granted the title of master gunmaker in 1719. He was one of the most talented Carlsbad school arms makers catering to the nobility who visited the Bohemian spa town. Only a small number of flintlock repeaters using this revolving chamber design are known, mostly by Carlsbad gunmakers in the first decades of the 18th century. They very rarely come available in the U.S. Copies of relevant pages from the Edward Hubbard Litchfield estate auction catalog are included where this pair is lot 364. The pair was also loaned by Litchfield and displayed in the 1931 "Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is listed in the exhibition catalog.

Rating Definition:

Fine with much of the original gilt finish remaining, distinct designs, and mild overall wear. The refinished wood is good and has distinct carving, some repaired cracks, chips at the tail of the lock, and some light scratches and dings. The repaired lock is functional.



B) Bohemian Flintlock Revolver

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Flintlock Pistol
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 52
Barrel: 9 1/2 inch round
Finish: gold
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2005
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 198
Class: Antique
Description:

See "A."

Rating Definition:

Very good with two replacement chambers and corresponding hardware with some fit issues, much of the original gilt finish remaining on the other components, generally crisp designs, and mild overall wear. The refinished wood is also very good and has crisp carving, some thin cracks and repairs, and small dings and scratches. The breech mechanism needs work. The repaired lock is mechanically fine. This is an incredibly rare pair of three-shot revolving flintlock pistols. They would make a great addition to any antique arms collection as fine antique muzzle loading arms and predecessors of the famous 19th century revolvers.



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