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Lot 385: Pair of Belt Pistols from the von Stauffenberg Collection

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Documented Cased Pair of Engraved Smith of Braintree Boxlock Percussion Belt Pistols from the von Stauffenberg Collection

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,000 - $9,000

A) Smith Belt Pistol

Manufacturer: British
Model: Percussion
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 47
Barrel: 4 inch octagon
Finish: brown/blue
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 430
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 238
Class: Antique
Description:

The included documentation indicates the pair was from Schloss Jettingen and Berthold Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg when sold on September 29, 2006, and that they were formerly in the collection of Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg. It is not clear when they came into the family's collection. The latter is the famous Oberst (Colonel) Claus von Stauffenberg who attempted to assassinate Hitler via a bomb at the Wolf's Lair on July 20, 1944, in Operation Valkyrie and was executed by firing squad the following day when the plot failed. He is portrayed by Tom Cruise in the 2008 film "Valkyrie" which centers on Stauffenberg's role as the lead conspirator in the plot to assassinate Hitler. His eldest brother Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg was also arrested and executed by slow strangulation. Thousands of others were either executed or sent to concentration camps following the attempted assassination and coup, including Oberst von Stauffenberg's wife who survived and passed away in 2006 shortly before these pistols were sold. His son Berthold Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg (b. 1934) was also a German military officer and was the longest serving German soldier at the time of his retirement in 1994 with the rank of major general after nearly four decades in the Buneswehr. The pistols have smoothbore Damascus barrels signed "SMITH BRAINTREE" on top and equipped with silver blade front sights. Both pistols have Birmingham proofs on the lower left on the barrel and frame. On the right, the first is marked "3," and the second is marked "2." The box lock actions have scroll engraving, notch rear sights, "42" below the bolsters, and belt hooks on the left. The grips are finely checkered and have blank wrist escutcheons and scroll engraved caps with compartments. The case has a small powder flask, ball mold marked "40," bone container with spare nipples, an oiler, cap tin, measure, a few over-sized balls, loading/cleaning rod, jag, and a nipple wrench.

Rating Definition:

Very good with much of the period refurbished brown finish and distinct twist patterns along the barrel, traces of blue on the action, smooth gray and brown patinas on the balance, some minor oxidation and pitting, and generally minor age and storage related wear overall. The grip is also very good and has minor spots of wear on the otherwise crisp checkering and light handling wear. Mechanically fine. The case and accessories are good with age and storage related wear including fading on the lining and mild wear on the exterior.



B) Smith Belt Pistol

Manufacturer: British
Model: Percussion
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 47
Barrel: 4 inch octagon
Finish: brown/blue
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 430
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 238
Class: Antique
Description:

See "A." Provenance: Claus von Stauffenberg and Berthold von Stauffenberg

Rating Definition:

Very good with much of the period refinished brown finish and distinct Damascus twist patterns along the barrel, traces of the blue finish on the action, some minor oxidation/pitting, and generally minor overall wear. The grip is good and has a repaired crack extending down from the upper tang screw and mild wear on the otherwise crisp checkering. Mechanically fine.



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