Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1078: Joseph Henry U.S. Contract Flintlock Pistol

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,000 - $6,000

Joseph Henry U.S. Contract Flintlock Pistol

Manufacturer: J. Henry
Model: 1807
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 54
Barrel: 10 1/8 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 260
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 64
Class: Antique

Joseph Henry of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, manufactured a limited number of flintlock military pistols under government contracts from 1807 and 1808. Henry was contracted to manufacture a total of 750 pairs in that period; however, the total number of pistols actually completed is not known, and many government contractors failed to complete their orders. A "Gun Report" article indicated he delivered 1,468 pistols and purchased 724 of them back. The barrel has a brass blade front sight and is marked an "eagle head/P" proof and "IVY" type marking. The lock has a pronounced teat at the tail, an integral rounded flash pan with high fence, and reinforced ring-neck hammer and is marked "US" at the center and "J. HENRY/PHILA" at the tail. The inside of the lock has an "IG" mark. The consignor indicated this pistol was owned by a family in Hoboken, New Jersey, for about 100 years and has never been in a collection of martial arms.

Rating Definition:

Very good "out of the attic" appearance overall. The barrel and lock exhibit a dark brown patina, some mild oxidation and pitting, scrapes from the flint by the vent and on the frizzen, tool mark on the left at the breech, and moderate wear. The brass furniture has aged patina that is particularly darkened on the trigger guard bow along with mild dings and scratches. The stock is also very good with some repaired cracks, spots of filler forward of the lock, and general small marks and scratches. Mechanically fine.

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