Here's a handgun that you'd never be able to conceal carry. It's a magnificent 400-year old double barreled wheellock pistol, with a ton of fancy artwork.
From its fluted, pear shaped pommel to its scrimshawed barrel cap, this pistol is a sight to behold. Covered in engravings and scrimshaw, it is obviously a cultured and wealthy man's sidearm.
Dated from 1600 to 1610 and provenanced to Saxony, the piece "was likely manufactured by one of the talented Dresden gunsmiths" who created firearms for the "Electors of Saxony including Prince Christian II". The pistol matches designs known to have been in use by Prince Christian II's guard in the early 1600s.
The gun features two barrels in an over/under configuration and two separate wheellock actions. Each action is on the right side of the gun, with the flint mechanisms facing one another, with one action situated in front of the other.
This necessitates a long pistol, as the space required to hold a wheellock mechanism is a few inches and two of those situated in linear fashion would necessarily assume several inches along the side of the gun. The barrel itself is listed at 19 1/4 inches.
Add to that the length of the gun's ornate handle and you've got quite an impressive firearm.
Every screw, dog spring or piece of hardware on the pistol is handmade, and decorated very ornately with fluting, scalloping and multiple turnings. Even the tips of the dogs that hold the flints have small figures cast in brass.
The stock is covered with ivory scrimshawed inlays of faces, animals, mythical creatures and decorative motifs.
Having survived largely intact for over 400 years, this is an astounding piece.
The gun will come up for auction later this month.
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