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Old 17th September 2008, 12:07 AM   #1
fernando
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Default Queen Anne pistol ... or the like

This piece was also posted at the Ethnographic Forum, looking for advice were to go for qualified coments (I am an adict to Vikingsword ).
A sort of Queen Anne pistol, although the barrel doesn't turn off. Some used to call this version, night pistol; you loaded them with shot, so you didn't need to aim with accuracy ... good for instant shooting in dark hours. that's why it has a ramrod for front loading.
The safety catch operates by sliding the trigger guard, like most.
Although it has the LONDON name on the breech, doesn't seem to be British, the London thing being just to impress and raise its value. There is no British proof marks anywhere, which is almost impossible to happen with Brit guns.
It could (could) be Belgium (Liegeoise); the fact that it has no Liege proof marks doesn't exclude such possibility, as by the end XVIII century ( which seems to be its age) local proof marks were not obliging ( before Napoleon got there and made regulations) .
However calling it a knock off is rather penalizing for me, as it costed the "eyes of my face". Thing is, i just couldn't resist to its appeal.
Anyone here have items of this sort ?
Fernando
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Old 17th September 2008, 01:22 AM   #2
Jim McDougall
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Fernando, this is an absolutely magnificent little pistol, and I confess I am more attracted to these 'Queen Anne' pieces than any other firearms. I think it is primarily because of my admittedly over romantic fascination with piracy in its "Golden Age". I always think of these in number tied with ribbons all about the pirate captain, as in Blackbeard.
Since these were often, if not typically civilian, would the same proofmarks be applied? I have been under the impression that the Liege firearms industry in producing 'knock offs' was a 19th century phenomenon.

I look forward to hearing the observations on this attractive piece! and no matter what...its a beauty

All the best,
Jim
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Old 17th September 2008, 02:57 AM   #3
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It is a thing of beauty...



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Old 18th September 2008, 03:11 AM   #4
Jim McDougall
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In doing a little reading on these 'Queen Anne' pistols, it seems the term technically applies to flintlock pistols of 1702-1714, but they were produced before that time and considerably after. Also it seems these were often also termed 'turn off' pistols, for the unscrewing barrel typically featured.

There is apparantly on good title on them:
"The Queen Anne Pistol 1660-1780" by John W. Burgoyne , which also confirms the extended period in which these were produced.

I really think these are incredibly attractive little pistols !!!
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Old 19th September 2008, 08:15 PM   #5
fernando
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Hi Jim,
So sorry i (nearly) failed to reply to your postings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... Since these were often, if not typically civilian, would the same proofmarks be applied ? ...
People insists that, if it is a British pistol, should have proof marks, whether being an ordnance or a civilian item. But i've actually read about a luxury piece that was ordered by an important person from a famous smith; as the smith's articles integrity was beyond doubt, but also expensive, and as also such ordered piece was for direct delivery and not being exposed in the market, the said smith did not send the gun to the proof house, to save the customer the extra (expensive) cost. I don't mean this was the case with my example ... only to prove there are exceptions to the rule. Eventually those guys out there that assume to know a lot about these things, insist that this example is not British (also) based the decoration quality and things like that .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I have been under the impression that the Liege firearms industry in producing 'knock offs' was a 19th century phenomenon.
Considering the strict sense of knock off, like replicating stuff to put it cheaper in the market, yes.
However this case is more in the sense that, when determined stuff made at a certain place (country) has acquired significant charisma, others would produce stuff of the same kind ( not pure imitations), to get their share in the market absortion. In those days, Liegeoise weapons was very famous and fine, not (yet) synonim of cheap stuff.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... it seems the term technically applies to flintlock pistols of 1702-1714, but they were produced before that time and considerably after.
Correct.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... Also it seems these were often also termed 'turn off' pistols, for the unscrewing barrel typically featured.
Correct again ... as a principle. There are exceptions, even made by famous listed smiths ( Delaney, Freeman ) with a fixed barrel. Those could be loaded with swan shot or the like, and be used as travelling pistols, for instance. Freeman was the one that called this version night pistol. The presence of a ramrod is usually the indicator that the barrel is fixed.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
There is apparantly on good title on them:
"The Queen Anne Pistol 1660-1780" by John W. Burgoyne
Jim, you are fantastic This is indeed the (only) work available on these weapons; i have bought it some time ago. However thanks a lot for the hint.

Fernando

Last edited by fernando; 19th September 2008 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 20th September 2008, 07:55 AM   #6
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Default Re PROOF MARKS

If this pistol was made in England, or for that matter in Liege, it would have DEFINATELY have been proved. Even if made for some notable person it would STILL have had proof marks.
The USA (for example) however DID NOT prove its weapons, so although marked LONDON on the barrel (which would as you suggest probably give a false lead to the buyer), this could possibly have been made there. There were some very nicely decorated pieces eminating from the States.
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Old 21st September 2008, 03:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
If this pistol was made in England, or for that matter in Liege, it would have DEFINATELY have been proved.
Not so fast, Stu ... just kiding .
Just read the attached page of The Standard Directory of Proof Marks, with emphasis on the part stressed by a red rectangle. Actualy this was not where i've learnt about Liege mark evading (or lack of consistence), but only a confirmation of some observations made by an "expert" somewhere in the Net. Note we are talking about this piece being from the end XVIII century period.
Perhaps you wish to review your considerations on the subject ... or not.
Again this doesn't mean my pistol is Belgian, but it certainly leaves that door open.
Best
Fernando
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Old 22nd September 2008, 04:56 AM   #8
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Default PROOF (or not)

Hi Fernando,
This is getting away from the original thread which discusses the beautiful pistol you have. I agree with the comments that proof was not made mandatory until 1810, but the first proof mark (the Perron) was introduced in Belgium in 1672 for inspection/proof of breeching systems. It was not used on revolvers. France had proof marks from 1782, so they are not new!
The problem remains as to origin of your pistol. Have you removed any of the screws to see if they are hand cut or machine cut. This might narrow down the age somewhat. I think we agree that flint ignition was superceded around 1830 so they would be earlier than that. The other comment I would make is that although they are marked LONDON, I don't think that they are of English manufacture for 2 reasons. One is lack of proof marks but they other is that they don't appear to have an inset escutcheon, on which the owner would normally have his name/initials engraved.
THE PLOT THICKENS!
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Old 22nd September 2008, 11:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
... the other is that they don't appear to have an inset escutcheon, on which the owner would normally have his name/initials engraved ...
When wire inlay was used (a trend that increased towards the second half XVIII century), several Queen Anne pistols did not have the classic estucheon (thumplate), but eventually a simulation in the same place, designed with the silver wire decoration, like in my example. Only that connoisseurs claim that Britsh inlay was a finer work ... but that is very contingent, as we know.
Fernando
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Old 23rd September 2008, 04:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
When wire inlay was used (a trend that increased towards the second half XVIII century), several Queen Anne pistols did not have the classic estucheon (thumplate), but eventually a simulation in the same place, designed with the silver wire decoration, like in my example. Only that connoisseurs claim that Britsh inlay was a finer work ... but that is very contingent, as we know.
Fernando
Agreed but if this WAS English made then it would/should have the silver escutcheon.
Fernando, I did have another thought, and that is that very occasionally there was a mark/name INSIDE the lock plate OR on the side of the tang. I have seen the odd pistol with this. Might be worth a look.
Stu
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Old 23rd September 2008, 02:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Agreed but if this WAS English made then it would/should have the silver escutcheon ...
Look here ... all English.

How many words is (are) a picture/s worth ?

Fernando
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Old 23rd September 2008, 02:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
... there was a mark/name INSIDE the lock plate OR on the side of the tang ... Might be worth a look...
That's what i did in the first place, although i was sh... scared, due to this type of actions having a mechanism rather different than usual.
... Not the slightest mark .

Fernando
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Old 24th September 2008, 06:24 AM   #13
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Look here ... all English.

How many words is (are) a picture/s worth ?

Fernando
OK I SURRENDER !!
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