Philippe Joseph Malherbe owned a substantial gunmaking enterprise in the 19th century. He offered his services to President James Madison in 1816, and the firm later exported arms used during the American Civil War. These pistols lack Liege proofs and are thus likely from the very early 1800s. The included provenance statement on H.A.M.S. Art Inv. Ltd. letterhead indicates the pistols were said to have been purchased from King Umberto II of Italy around 1939 and were later sold to the "Gold of Peru" Museum in Lima, Peru. The writer's name appears to be Schemke. He notes that these are the longest deluxe flintlock pistols he had ever scene, and they are the longest we can recall as well. Despite the long barrels, the pistols point rather nicely which is a testament to the stock design and balance. The long smoothbore barrels have "Damas D'acier" inlaid in gold in ornate script on the sighting flats and along with gold arrows behind the blade front sights, gold and silver floral accents, gold radiating lines, gold vent liners, and a series of bands in gold and silver at the breech ends. The underside of the barrels have "HL," and the "B" barrel also has a "5." The upper tangs have dished rear sights and are fully engraved. The locks have "P.J.Malherbe/a Liege" in ornate gold inlaid script, mostly martial themed engraving, and gold lined pans. The wedge escutcheons, ramrod tip and pipes, trigger guard, and trigger plate are smooth nickel-silver. The remaining furniture is gilded and has high relief classical martial trophies. The stocks have highly attractive raised relief floral carving. The closely fitted hardwood case contains the pistols and a large complement of mostly casehardened steel or ebony accessories.
Very fine with attractive twist patterns and light brown finish and patina along the barrel, bright original gold inlays, aged patina on the silver inlays, 75% plus original casehardened finish, light aging of the nickel-silver and gilding crisp designs throughout, and minor age and storage related wear. The stock is also very fine and has crisp carving, light edge wear, and some slight marks and scratches. Mechanically excellent. The case is good with the lining mostly faded to a beige tone but remaining red under the items, hinge screws loose with stripped out threads, some cracks and loose components, and mild age and storage related wear. The accessories are generally very fine with minor age and storage related wear and virtually all of the original case colors.
Very fine with distinct twist patterns and light brown finish and patina on the barrel, bright original gold inlays, aged patina on the silver inlays, 60% original casehardened finish, light aging of the furniture, crisp designs throughout, and occasional spots of minor age and storage related wear. The stock is also very fine and has crisp carving, light edge wear, and light handling and storage marks. Mechanically excellent. Overall, a very attractive and rare pair of long barreled pistols.
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