Superposed loads involve loading powder, a projectile, then powder, and another projectile. The projectile between the two powder charges must be tightly fit as it serves as a gas seal to prevent both charges from going off at once, possibly leading to a failure of the gun. Though multiple gunmakers attempted to make viable superposed load firearms through the centuries, they never became widely used. This rare example likely dates to the first half of the 18th century. It has no identifying markings aside from "37" on the front of the trigger guard, but it is very Brescian in style. The very interestingly shaped barrel has eight-groove rifling. Rifling was rare in firearms in the period in general, especially in pistols. The octagonal section near the breech end makes is easier to unscrew, and there is a small latch that helps secure the barrel on the bottom of the breech section of the action. After firing the first shot, the upper pan can be pulled back. Doing so pushes the lower pan forward readying it to shoot. The back action lock has a round teat, scroll and floral engraving, a squirrel inhabiting on of the scrolls, and a nicely sculpted cock. The remaining metal components are also floral and scroll engraved, and there is a man with a "Van Dyke beard" on the breech section and trigger guard bow. Provenance: The Collection of Joe M. Wanenmacher Jr
Fine with mostly gray patina, some light oxidation and pitting, distinct engraving, and mild overall wear. The stock is very good and has some minor wear and repairs around the lock and breech, general dings and scratches, and smooth finish. Mechanically fine. This is a very interesting and extremely rare flintlock pistol.
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