Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1283: Damascene and Niello Decorated Caucasian Miquelet Pistol

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Elaborate Relief Chiseled Damascene and Niello Decorated Caucasian Miquelet Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,500 - $5,000

Elaborate Relief Chiseled Damascene and Niello Decorated Caucasian Miquelet Pistol

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Pistol
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 60
Barrel: 12 3/4 inch round
Finish: bright/gold/niello
Stock: hardwood
Item Views: 297
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 230
Class: Antique

This highly ornate pistol was likely manufactured in the 19th century in the Caucasus region. That region was the frontier between the Russian and Ottoman empires at the time. The decoration on this pistol, particularly the niello decorated silver mounts, is similar to examples believed to originate from Tbilisi, Georgia, or Dagestan in this period c. 1830-1850. The smoothbore barrel has some unidentified markings, raised scroll designs and flats, and gilt backgrounds. The lock has scroll and floral gold damascene patterns as does the ball shaped trigger. The silver furniture has a variety of floral patterns with extensive contrasting niello accents, an untranslated calligraphic marking by the breech, damascene decorated screws, and nice detailing. The leather wrapped stock has no provisions for carrying a ramrod as it was the regional preference to carrying it with the other loading equipment and ammunition. Muzzleloaders remained in general use in the Caucasus and surrounding areas through the end of the 19th century and were part of a the region's traditional dress much longer and are often associated with the famous Cossacks.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with distinct niello designs and aged patina on the silver furniture and accents, section of the forend cap absent on the left, 95% plus original gold plating on the lock, 60% gold remaining on the breech section of the barrel, gray patina on the balance, and mild overall wear. The lock is missing the top jaw, jaw screw, and battery face. The stock is also very fine and has moderate and handling related wear.

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