Johann Joseph Futter (1720-1779) was active as a gunmaker between circa 1754 until his death in 1779. He was among the few who produced high quality air pistols. The flat beveled step tailed iron lock is signed "FUTTER A DRESSDEN" with a goose neck cock. Though it looks like a large caliber flintlock pistol, the smoothbore barrel measures at approximately .42 caliber/11 mm and is actually slightly smaller than the outer brass housing suggests. The outer housing consists of an air reservoir which surrounds the barrel. A pump (not included) is able to be attached to charge the reservoir via a connection in the butt concealed under the pommel cap. The brass barrel reservoir has a blade front sight. "Wind guns" had several advantages over conventional firearms including that they were quieter, smokeless, quicker to reload, and relatively unaffected by rain. They also required less cleaning since they did not require corrosive black powder. Floral engraving on the upper tang, sideplates and lock. The well-figured walnut full stock has a horn tip, relief carvings around the edges of the ramrod channel and trigger guard, relief carved teardrop flats and a sun behind the upper tang. The fittings are fine cast and chased brass. Includes an iron ramrod. Circular brass collection tag marked "R.D. BEEMAN/PRIVATE/COLLECTION/2910" hanging from the trigger guard. This exact air pistol is pictured and described on page 177 of "Blue Book of Airguns, Thirteenth Edition". Provenance: The Dr. Robert D. Beeman Collection
Very good with bright patina on the brass, some light wear and patches of light pitting on the lock, with mostly visible engraving. Stock is good with numerous scattered scratches and dents, and a repaired and spliced section visible on the left of the lower tang. The hammer spring is weak and is not properly functioning.
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