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    Sale 5426

    Antique Arms & Armour

    21 May 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 120

    A VERY RARE FRENCH CASED PAIR OF ELABORATE PERCUSSION TARGET PISTOLS MADE FOR THE LONDON GREAT EXHIBITION OF 1851, BY GASTINNE RENETTE, 29 ALLÉE D'ANTIN, PARIS

    NO.565, DATED 1849 AND 1851

    Price Realised  

    A VERY RARE FRENCH CASED PAIR OF ELABORATE PERCUSSION TARGET PISTOLS MADE FOR THE LONDON GREAT EXHIBITION OF 1851, BY GASTINNE RENETTE, 29 ALLÉE D'ANTIN, PARIS
    No.565, DATED 1849 AND 1851
    With blued punched matted rifled barrels chiselled and gilt with panels of scrolling flowers, vines and foliage all in low relief over two off-set octagonal stages, the muzzles decorated with chiselled and gilt bands of stylised leaves and stamped 'Expo Universelle de London 1851' in miniscules within an alternate arrangement of flutes, and each numbered and dated on the underside towards the breech, chiselled and gilt breeches struck with barrel maker's marks beneath ('GR' crowned), chiselled and gilt breech tangs each carrying the backsight, detented case-hardened locks chiselled and gilt with further scrollwork patterns on a contrasting punched matted ground and each signed on an encrusted gold ribband, ebony half-stocks, the butts and fore-ends boldly carved with panels of flowers and foliage in relief and en suite with the barrels, locks and mounts, the butts each with blued steel cap fitted with a gilt-iron openwork dome of arcanthus leaves chiselled in high relief, and retaining much original finish throughout (the gilding with small patches of light wear, the stocks each with a minor crack): in fitted case veneered in ebony and inlaid with brass and white metal banded patterns of scrolling foliage, the lid with later white metal escutcheon inscribed 'Gastinne Renette Expon Universelle de London 1851', and with some accessories including bullet mould, probably the original.
    16¾in (42.5cm) (2)


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    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Exhibited

    The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, London 1851. No. 1611, Gastinne Renette, Gunsmith.


    These pistols are clearly included within a selection of firearms by Gastinne Renette as the subject of an engraved advertisement of the period. The plate does not appear to have been included in the official catalogue but almost certainly was included either in one of the many other contemporary publications related to the exhibition or in the catalogue of another of the Continental exhibitions of the 'Industrial Arts'.