Rock Island Auction Company
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Lot 373: Pair of Parisian Percussion Pistols by Devisme

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Cased Pair of Silver Inlaid, Engraved, and Relief Carved Parisian Percussion Pistols by Devisme

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,000 - $14,000

A) Devisme Percussion Pistol

Manufacturer: Devisme FP
Model: SINGLE SHOT PERCUSSION
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 44
Barrel: 9 3/4 inch octagon
Finish: blue/silver/gray
Grip:
Stock: ebony
Item Views: 446
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 228
Class: Antique
Description:

Jean-Louis Francois Devisme was among the most accomplished Parisian gunmakers in the 19th century, especially in the 1840s-1860s and counted King Louis-Philippe of France, Napoleon III, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and other members of the British royal family among his clients. The rifled barrels have dovetailed bead front sights, silver bands at the muzzle and breech ends, silver dots along the side flats at the breech, silver scroll patterns, and "Devisme a Paris" in ornate silver script. Fixed notch rear sights are on the upper tangs. Aside from the barrels, the metal components feature relief engraved foliate scroll patterns that coordinate with the relief carved leaf and branch designs on the stocks. The patent breeches and standing breeches are marked "1" (A) and "2" (B), and the underside of the barrels and patent breeches are marked with "1" (B) and "2" (A) along with "LB" (Leopold Bernard), "11.0," Liege provisional proofs, and faint "crown/U" proofs. "JNI" is marked on the forends under the barrels. This marking has been noted on the carved ebony stocks of multiple pairs of pistols from the period. "10954" is marked on each stock at the toe. The case has an ornate lid escutcheon, "36 BOULEVART DES ITALIENS/DEVISME/ARQUEBUSIER BREVETE/A PARIS" in golden lettering inside the lid, and interior closely fit for the pistols and the included mallet, screwdriver, engraved ball mold numbered to the pair, nipple wrench, measure, two containers, a loading rod, and a cleaning rod.

Rating Definition:

Fine with aged patina on the silver inlays, mix of faded/cleaned period refinished blue and dark brown patina along the barrel, smooth French gray on the balance with darker backgrounds and a few spots of slight oxidation, and crisp engraving throughout. The stock is very fine and has crisp relief carving, some light scratches, light edge wear, and a few insignificant hairline cracks. Mechanically fine. The case and accessories are very good with minor age and storage related wear mainly concentrated on the case exterior, some light patina on the mold, and contact marks on the lining.



B) Devisme Percussion Pistol

Manufacturer: Devisme FP
Model: SINGLE SHOT PERCUSSION
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 44
Barrel: 9 3/4 inch octagon
Finish: blue/silver/gray
Grip:
Stock: ebony
Item Views: 446
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 228
Class: Antique
Description:

See "A."

Rating Definition:

Fine with strong original blue finish under the stock line and mix of faded/cleaned blue and brown patina long the balance of the barrel, attractive aged patina on the silver, nice French gray on the balance with darker backgrounds and minor oxidation, and crisp engraving. The stock is very fine and has crisp relief carving and some light scratches and edge wear. Mechanically fine. This is a very attractive cased pair of Parisian target/dueling pistols from one of the era's most respected gunmakers: Devisme.



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