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 Incredibly Rare Pair of Ames Model 1842 Early Production Navy Percussion Pistols
LOT 182
Rare Presentation Grade Cased Pair of Early Production U.S.N. Ames Contract Model 1842 Percussion Navy Pistols Dated 1842 with Accessories -A) U.S.N. Ames Contract Model 1842 Percussion Navy Pistol - NSN, 54 percussion cal., 6 inch round bbl., brown/casehardened/ silver finish, walnut stock. Manufactured by N.P. Ames of Springfield, Massachusetts, and Henry Derringer of Philadelphia circa 1842 to 1847, these pistols are also known as the Model 1842 or Navy Box Lock Model with an estimated 2,000 pistols manufactured in all. The Model 1842
was the first U.S. martial percussion pistol produced under contract for
the government. Ames delivered 300 of these pistols to the government before the contract was signed. These two pistols were part of the first 300 Ames delivered in 1842. The very early production examples, such as these two pistols, featured a raised lock plate with a beveled edge along the front and a high rounded shape at the rear which terminated in a point. The lock plates are marked “U.S.N./1842” vertically at the rear and “N.P. AMES/SPRINGFIELD/MASS” in the center. The barrel tang is also dated “1842”, and the left rear of the barrel is stamped “U.S.N./JCB” above a circled “P.” The grip is slender and a bit longer than the later production pistols. These pistols also have features that make them presentation
models, or pistols intended for someone outside the standard government contract. These features include the silver plated brass butt caps, trigger guards, and front barrel bands and walnut stocks without inspection cartouches. The pistols are fitted in a walnut case that contains several accessories including two double face eagle brass flasks, a triangular shaped combination tool, and two cap tins. Although these pistols lack a presentation engraving, the silver plating and the lack of stock inspection marks are features that indicate that these pistols were intended for some one of importance. These pistols were purportedly the personal property of a War of 1812 U.S. naval officer, George C. Reed.

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