Rock Island Auction Company
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Lot 1398: Pair of Devisme Flobert Pistols

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Historic Cased Pair of Silver Inlaid, Engraved, and Relief Carved Devisme Flobert Saloon Pistols Attributed to Famed Marksman and Author Walter Winans

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Estimated Price: $7,500 - $15,000

A) Devisme Flobert Pistol

Manufacturer: Devisme FP
Model: Single Shot
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 22 RF
Barrel: 9 inch fluted
Finish: blue/silver
Grip:
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 239
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 200
Class: Antique
Description:

Jean-Louis Francois Devisme's shop was among the most accomplished producers of artistic firearms for the elite in France and beyond in the 19th century and was known for interesting and innovative firearms. This pair certainly fits within that reputation. The case lid escutcheon and trigger guards have "WW" under a crest with a pair of arms holding a trefoil element. This is attributed to famed American marksman, Olympic medalist, and sport shooting author Walter Winans, and the "WW" marking style is consistent with multiple other handguns owned by Winans that have been sold through RIAC. Though born to American parents, Winans was by and large a European man having grown up in St. Petersburg and spent most of the rest of his life in the U.K. He remains the only person to win an Olympic gold medal in both sports and arts (art competitions forming part of the modern Olympic Games from 1912 until 1948) and also won twelve straight British revolver championships. The crest may be a simplified design based on his more elaborate crest which has a man holding grapes and vine leaves in one hand (see the title page of "Automatic Pistol Shooting" by Walter Winans). The barrels have bead style front sights, fluted midsections, "Devisme a Paris" inlaid in silver ahead of the fine notch rear sights, and inlaid foliate vine patterns that also extend onto the hammers and furniture. The underside of the barrels have the Liege provisional proof and "FLOBERT." The stocks have silver inlaid floral scroll accents and wire borders, relief floral and scroll carving on the forends, and fluted wrists. The serial numbers are marked on the left side of the actions under the stock lines. "A" also has "7166" on the stock at the toe, and "B" has "7167" with the last digit stamped over an "8." The case has the Devisme markings in gold inside the lid and a closely fit interior also containing cleaning rods, a screwdriver, round container, and spare mainspring.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 75% plus original blue finish, aged patina on the silver, patches of smooth gray and brown patina, and minor overall wear. The stock is fine and has distinct carving, light scratches, and mild handling wear. Mechanically fine. The case and accessories are all fine and have mild age and storage related wear mainly on the case exterior which has some flaking.



B) Devisme Flobert Pistol

Manufacturer: Devisme FP
Model: Single Shot
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 22 RF
Barrel: 9 inch fluted
Finish: blue/silver
Grip:
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 239
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 200
Class: Antique
Description:

See "A."

Rating Definition:

Fine with 60% original blue finish, aged patina on the silver, smooth gray and brown patina on the balance, and mild overall wear. The stock is also fine and has crisp caring, light scratches and dings, and mild handling and storage wear. Mechanically fine.



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