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Old 10th April 2020, 10:44 AM   #1
corrado26
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Default Pistols with snakes

Due to the Corona crises there is enough time to spend it with my collection instead of making visits and I found a pair of pistols with since a long time unanswered questions.
The first question is where and/or for which country these pistols have been made, were they made in Italy (Brescia/Naples) or in rhe Osmanic Empire or perhaps in Russia? The second question is the meaning of the thumplates with the snakes. The pistols have a total lenght of 490 mm and the mounts are made from silvered brass.
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Old 10th April 2020, 03:15 PM   #2
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Hi Corrado

What an interesting and handsome pair of horse pistols.
A question: Can you make out the reading on the top of the barrel breeches ?
This might give us a clue, but they do look faint and difficult to read.

Meantime, some observations:

The metal butt cap style reminds me more of Italian pistols from the later 17th Century.
The checkering on the stocks looks to be of European quality, and well executed.
The trigger guard is fasten with screws versus simply nailed on as most Ottoman pistols.
The lock has that 1750ish French style with the neatly rolled edges on the lock plate and hammer. The frizzen has the vertical grooves popular with Ottoman pistols.
The barrel, with it's fluted breech, was especially popular with Italian made guns. Also note the barrel is pin-fastened to the stock versus the more common barrel bands used with Ottoman guns. A European feature.
Note the LARGE size of the thumb pieces relative to most European pistols. The Ottomans seemed to have a preference for larger thumb pieces for some reason. Also, the thumb pieces are also attached with screws versus nails. Ala European. The snakes are a mystery to me. But I seem to recall seeing this same snake on an Ottoman powder flask some many years ago.

So, my best guess at this moment, is that these pistols were assembled somewhere in Europe for export to the Ottoman market. Or possibly made for an Ottoman origin customer living in Europe.
One thing I've noticed in studying these Ottoman styled horse pistols is that the styling of the locks, barrels, stocks, and hardware can vary greatly. You can have a pistol that was built in 1850 with styling characteristics that span 100 years apart.

Let us know if you can make out any of the writing on the barrel flats. And thanks for posting. Most interesting pair.

Rick
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Old 10th April 2020, 03:54 PM   #3
fernando
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Cool Huge ... and very nice

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
... A question: Can you make out the reading on the top of the barrel breeches ?
This might give us a clue, but they do look faint and difficult to read...

Yes ... a vital detail indeed.
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Old 10th April 2020, 04:23 PM   #4
corrado26
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Sorry but I have to disappoint you: It is absolutely impossible to find out the sense of these signs. I am really not certain whether these are letters or nothing else than signs of decoration.
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Old 10th April 2020, 08:56 PM   #5
Fernando K
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he discoloration of the trigger guard and the end of the stick suggests that the base metal is bronze. In this case, is it silver?
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Old 11th April 2020, 06:52 AM   #6
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As I wrote before, it is silvered brass or bronze
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