Join Date: Apr 2017
Percussion pistol by Möst in Gernsbach, Baden-Württemberg
I recently acquired this attractive percussion pistol made circa 1840 by Möst in Gernsbach, just east of Baden-Baden in Baden-Württemberg. I'd estimate the rifled bore as approximately .40 calibre with the octagonal barrel measuring 7.75 inches/19.6 cm in length. All of the metal fittings are heavily engraved and the lock plate bears the gunsmith's name and location. There is a rectangular fitting behind the sight that I suspect allows one to adjust the trigger pull. The finely chequered grip terminates with a finial plate that opens to reveal a recess for bullets or patches, etc. But the very best feature of this pistol, in my opinion, is the wonderful carving on the forend of the walnut stock that depicts the head of a dog from whose mouth projects the ramrod.
I have found references to Möst in trade directories dating from the mid-1850s and later, but efforts to find his biography, much less his given name(s), have thus far met with no success. One source indicated that Möst was the designer of an innovative tree saw, and, given that Gernsbach is on the northern edge of the Black Forest, it must have done him some credit. Möst was also described as a gunsmith specializing in hunting weapons, which again is not surprising given his location.
Interestingly, I also learned that Möst's son was the noted German sculptor, Karl Friedrich Möst (born March 26, 1838, died August 14, 1923). Karl Friedrich's on-line biographies reveal that he learned drawing from his gunsmith father, and also etched copper and steel, learned engraving, made inlaid wood, and carved wood.
Does anyone have reference material on Möst? Failing that, I wonder if there are any fora that focus on antique German pistols where I could post an inquiry.
Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer.