9 November 2000
An Extremely Rare 54-Bore German Over-And-Under 'Sickle-Spring' Wheel-Lock Pistol
The barrels bored from a single piece of iron, the top barrel of swamped octagonal form dated on the top flat and struck with an indistinct mark 'MK'(?) at the rear, plain tang, long lock of stepped outline retaining traces of blued finish on the plate and retained by three side-nails, and originally a screw (now missing) through the tail, two wheels each with pierced cover secured by two screws and integral with the pan, and two swivelling safety-catches, walnut (?) full stock (minor cracks) decorated with lines of chip carving, straight butt shaped for the fingers and with flat pommel, iron trigger-guard, two triggers, and later ramrod
S.R. Brady, Sotheby & Co., London, 28 March 1958, lot 48 (£390 to German)
Frank E. Bivens, Jr.
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F. Theodore Dexter, Half Century Scrapbook of Vari-type Firearms, pp. 48-9, plate 19, no. 1000
The Game Fair, Blenheim Palace, 28-30 July 2000
One of the earliest over-and-unders in existence, this is an example of a pre-1550 wheel-lock pistol of a type rarely to be seen outside dynastic armouries. The distinctive form of the butt is found on other wheel-lock pistols of the 1540s, for example that of the Emperor Maximilian II (1527-1576) in the Hofjagd- und Leibrüstkammer, Vienna (inv. no. A 560), and a breech-loading self-spanning pistol in the same collection (inv. no. A 603)
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