Flintlock knife pistol, maker and origin unknown, 18th century.
Sold at Auction: $1,900
Silver and coral mounted flintlock pistol originating from Algeria, 19th century.
Estimated Value: €3,500 – €4,500
The Colt Model 1877 Double Action Revolver,
During the mid 19th century Colt was known for its line of single action revolvers. However in Europe many companies and gunmakers such as Adams, Tranter, Lefaucheux, and Gasser had introduced popular double action designs. A double action is a system by which pulling the trigger cocks and fires the gun. This is different from a single action in which the hammer must be cocked before each shot.
In 1877 Colt introduced its first double action design. The new Model 1877 was much like the earlier Model 1873 single action army, with the exception of a smaller frame, a redesigned grip, and of course a double action mechanism. The M1877 came in three models, the “Lightning” which was chambered for .38 Long Colt, the “Thunderer”, which was chambered for .41 Colt, and the “Rainmaker” which was chambered for .32 Colt.
While popular, the double action mechanism of the Colt M1877 was delicate and prone to breakage. This gave it the nickname “the gunsmiths favorite” as they needed a lot of maintenance and repair. It was not uncommon for users to simply wear out the double action mechanism, then continue to use the revolver as a single action afterwards. Production of the Model 1877 continued until 1909, 166,849 were produced. Famous users included Billy the Kid, John Wesley Hardin, and the famous English detective Jerome Caminada.
A fine gold inlaid Gasser revolver originating from Austria, late 19th century.
Estimated Value: €11,500 – €14,000
Rare engraved ten shot Noel turret revolver, originates from France, mid 19th century.
Sold at Auction: $3,500
Exceptional cased and engraved Adams double action revolver with relief carved grips. Originates from England, mid 19th century.
Sold at Auction: $9,000
The Clair Model 1893 Semi Automatic Pistol,
One of the first semi-automatic designs ever created, the Clair pistols was the creation of three brothers; Benoit, Jean Baptiste, and Victor Clair. Unlike most other handgun designs, the Clair pistol was unique in that it was gas operated, with the gas tube located below the barrel. Most semi-auto handgun designs are recoil operated. The Clair pistol used the standard French 8mm revolver cartridge (8x27R). Before the widespread use of detachable magazines, this odd pistol had a fixed internal magazine which was loaded by inserting cartridges into the grip. When fired a bit of gas from the discharge of the pistol would work a piston which worked the action, ejecting the spent casing while loading a new cartridge from the magazine. At least that was how it was supposed to work.
The Clair brothers patented their design and built a prototype for military testing. The Clair was tested against the French Mle 1892 revolver. Unfortunately the Clair suffered from numerous problems, including failures to feed, jams, and leeks in the gas tube. In addition the Clair design was too complicated for regular maintenance and mass production. As a result the Clair pistol was rejected by the French Army. Only one prototype was ever built.
Ornate pair of gold and silver decorated flintlock pistols originating from Turkey, 18th century.
Sold at Auction: $9,560