Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Nice little pocket pistol find. I'll post here what I originally sent you in a private email:
That is a cute little pistol. Agreed, that was a fair price. It's in pretty decent condition. And you're right. It's what many collectors call a traveling/overcoat/pocket pistol. Likely from the 1840-1860 period. This size/style of pistol were very popular throughout Europe during the Mid-18th Century and were made by the thousands, before eventually falling out of favor for revolvers. The percussion miquelet lock appears to be a genuine non-converted lock. And the long iron backstrap on the grip is a typical Spanish feature from pistols of this period. The barrel looks to be a two-piece with a bolster type breech plug (like a percussion British Enfield) which was also very typical of barrels during this period. What you see as a powder chamber and ridge (like some Torador barrels) is probably a slight hollowing out of the breech plug face just giving that impression. I've seen this before on bolster type breech plugs. Never really understood the purpose. The two numbers 17 on the bottom would likely be assembly (or re-assembly) numbers so the breech plug face and threads would match and not get lost/mixed up with other barrels/breeches.
All and all, a nice Spanish percussion pistol, carried for personal protection, and styled very typical to this time period. Congratulations. Nice find. Will be interesting to see what others on the European Forum think. And if they agree with me.
Miquelet is often "loosely" used to describe a gun lock with the mainspring mounted on the outside of the lock plate versus inside as in more traditional flintlocks.
That third screw on the side plate likely was for a belt hook at some time. In fact, judging by original examples, there seem to have been more Spanish origin pistols made with belt hooks versus not. LOL Both civilian and military.
Again, nice find. Rick