Rock Island Auction Company
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Lot 236: Presentation Grade Flintlock Pistols by Bizouard

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Elaborate Pair of Presentation/Exhibition Grade Silver Mounted, Gilt, and Engraved Flintlock Pistols by Bizouard of Marseille for the Eastern Market

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Estimated Price: $15,000 - $25,000

A) Bizouard Flintlock Pistol

Manufacturer: French
Model: Flintlock
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 64
Barrel: 13 inch round
Finish: brown/gold/silver/bright
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 210
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 238
Class: Antique
Description:

Claude Bizouard of Marseille is known to have manufactured many fine pairs of pistols for the Middle Eastern/North African market c. 1830-1866. This pair appears to date it to 1830-1838 based on the hallmarks. A pair of pistols by Bizouard are known to have been presented by Sidi Mohamed II, Bey of Tunis, to Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria in 1857 now housed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. This pair is certainly among the best made for the eastern market and reflect both the Islamic influence of the region and the quality and classic styling of the French gunmakers. The smoothbore barrels flare slightly at the muzzle and have silver blade front sights with heart bases surrounded by radiating gold lines, gold floral and star motifs on the fore-section, multiple girdles at the transition point, gold stars, crescent moons, and lamps among the designs on the breech section, and grooved rear sights on the upper tangs along with foliate patterns. The locks are signed "Bizouard/a Marseille" and have gold lined rainproof pans and bird scene and floral engraving. The furniture is silver and has cast floral and classical martial trophies, including turbans, crescent moons, and a variety of arms including flintlock pistols. They are much better detailed than most export pistols. The trigger guard tangs and left pommel stirrups have French silver hallmarks consisting of male heads (some flanked by "1" and "2") in the style used from August 16, 1819, until May 10, 1838, along with a maker's mark consisting of a crescent moon over "MI" and a dot. The stocks also feature profuse silver wire and floral inlays in fine patterns as well as some large flush inlays. In the European fashion, baleen ramrods with antique ivory tips are fitted below the barrels.

Rating Definition:

Very fine. The barrel retains 60% plus original gold finish showing some thinning and more than half of the brown finish with some brown patina and minor oxidation and general mild wear. The lock is mostly silver-gray with some minor oxidation and some brown on the frizzen and cock. The silver throughout displays attractive aged patina and crisp designs. The stock is also very fine and has smooth finish and minimal light handling and storage marks. Mechanically excellent.



B) Bizouard Flintlock Pistol

Manufacturer: French
Model: Flintlock
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 64
Barrel: 13 inch round
Finish: brown/gold/silver/bright
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 210
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 238
Class: Antique
Description:

See "A." Provenance: The Collection of Joe M. Wanenmacher Jr

Rating Definition:

Very fine. The barrel retains 50% plus original gold finish showing some thinning and more than half of the brown finish mixed with some brown patina and minor oxidation and general mild wear. The lock is mostly mottled silver-gray patina with some isolated minor pitting. The silver throughout displays attractive aged patina and crisp designs. Aside from a hairline crack visible at the wedge near the forend tip, the stock is also very fine and has smooth finish and minimal light handling and storage marks. Mechanically excellent.



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