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Old 4th April 2018, 02:36 PM   #1
JamesKelly
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Default Small wheel lock pistol

I bought this as an antique miniature. So my question - is the pistol itself an original piece from the early 16th or 17th century? Or might it be of 19th century origin?

It is an actual functioning firearm, though presumably made for decorative purposes rather than serious use. The wheel is connected to a spring I am not inclined to wind it all the way. The screw holding the dog to the lock-plate is loose, I fear it may come apart. The pistol is made of all iron (steel?) and yellow brass, no gold plating. That little button that releases the pan cover is a reddish color, presumably red brass or bronze

Dimensions are 4-1/2 (114mm) diagonal length, 2-13/16 (71mm) half round barrel .186 (4.7mm) cal. Weight just under 6 ounces (170grams)

It is fitted in a black leather covered hinged wooden case with push button latch. The case is likely of 19th century manufacture, and certainly not 17th century.

I cannot read the gold lettering inside the case lid, my best guess is the lettering ends in . . . INGTON & Co
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Old 4th April 2018, 03:13 PM   #2
Fernando K
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Hi.

You said it yourself, it's a modern reproduction. The most remarkable thing is the decoration, especially on the pyrite holder and on the knob of the stock, an engraving that does not match the original decoration, as if it did not have a model to imitate. Indeed, some authentic and original copies, lack decoration (engraving) and are totally built in ferrous material (iron or steel)

Affectionately
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Old 4th April 2018, 03:57 PM   #3
fernando
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Very nice little thing, James.
Do i discern "By Appointment" in the upper lettering ?
Could it be that the label inside the lid refers to some company that intended to offer this miniature/s to their clients, and not one referring to the maker, as if that of a gun retailer ?
Could INGTON & Co. be BURLINGTON & Co. ?
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Old 4th April 2018, 08:22 PM   #4
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Might say ". . . APPOINTMENT" in top lettering. I need to dig out my binocular microscope to examine it better

"Modern" for the case is, I believe 19th rather than 20th century. It just does not look like 20th century work.

Original 1530 - 1630 miniature wheellock pistols not uncommonly had a brass frame with iron/steel lock & barrel. Some by Michael Mann had the brass gilded, and were engraved all over. This is my internet learning.

I'm no expert in wheellock miniatures. The only one I ever personally saw was made by the late Herschal Kopp, Maryland about 1963 or '64. His son was in dentistry, investment cast the frame in gold for him.

Really the barrel of this one troubles me most. The round half appears to have been lathe turned. Half a lifetime ago I made a 1/3 scale matchlock musket & full size flint pistol with half-octagon barrels. I accomplished this with a file, works fine but the finish differs from machine work. Also the ferrous metal in this wheellock shows no slag lines at all, such as might be expected in old wrought iron. I am an antique gun collector, and a metallugist with interest in historical metallurgy. Kinda like seeing the evidence of mediocre wrought iron in my 1812 Harpers Ferry musket.

I was hoping the label might bring something to mind. Will try looking under "Burlington"
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Old 18th April 2018, 07:14 AM   #5
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Without having the item in my hand, I am loath to pass judgement ,however in the 1970 / 80s an English friend of mine ( a very skilled precision engineer ) used to make miniature wheellocks such as yours as well as miniature flintlocks and percussion revolvers . All were in cases and generally he used old cases of a suitable size which he refitted to take the item and accessories . You have an old box certainly but it may not have originally contained this pistol.
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Old 18th April 2018, 06:10 PM   #6
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A plausible approach !
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Old 27th April 2020, 05:30 PM   #7
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I think most period miniature wheellocks had triggers that extended through the trigger guard as they were meant to be shot
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Old 28th April 2020, 08:02 AM   #8
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Here are fotos of two Michael Mann-wheellock miniature pistols which I once had in my collection.
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