Multi-shot flintlock pistols and long guns were the forerunners of the true revolvers of the 19th century and are very rare and highly desirable antique arms. A small number of firearms built using the system on this long gun in three and four-shot variations were manufactured by a group of gunmakers operating in the spa town of Carlsbad in Bohemia in the first half of the 18th century. Naturally, these advanced firearms were reserved for the nobility, and King Christian IV of Denmark is known to have owned a pair of pistols from Carlsbad using this system. The system used on this gun is similar to the "wender" or "turn-over" design employed on double barrel pistols and long guns in the flintlock era, but instead of having multiple complete barrels, the gun has three chambers with their own pans and frizzens. By giving each chamber its own pan and frizzen, no complicated automatic priming mechanism is required. After pulling on the release trigger at the front of the trigger guard, these chambers are manually rotated to bring them into alignment with the main barrel, and the shared lock which is back action format. The lock is manually cocked each time. This would significantly improve the time between shots compared to a single shot firearm and would also be more durable and less complex to manufacture than many of the other rare multi-shot designs of the era. As with the pistols of this pattern we have seen, the frizzens and long, straight frizzen springs are mounted to separate plates running from the side of each chamber ahead of the pan to the front of circular plate at the junction of the chambers and barrel. Since you are not required to load down the barrel, the ramrod is shorter as well. This arrangement also keeps the vents out of line with one another which should reduce the risk of chain fires. The smoothbore barrel has a long sighting flat, a dovetailed blade front sight, and floral and classical martial engraving at the breech highlighted in gold. The chambers, lock, and other components are also engraved with floral patterns, classical figures, and martial trophy designs and highlighted in gold. The gilt brass ramrod entry pipe, trigger guard, and buttplate have scroll and border engraving and fleur-de-lis style finials. A "1" is inscribed at the toe suggesting this rare piece was part of a set or larger garniture of fine arms. The gilt brass wrist escutcheon and sideplate have pierced designs, scroll patterns, and mask elements. the gun is mounted with a highly figured full-length rootwood forearm and buttstock with relief and carved accents and molding.
Fine metal with the majority of the gilt finish remaining and a mottled blend of gray and brown patina and mild oxidation/pitting on the balance. The heavily varnished wood is very good and has multiple cracks and repairs, beautiful figure and grain throughout, an old coat of varnish, and mild dings and scratches. Mechanically fine.
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