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Old 15th April 2019, 07:16 PM   #1
MacCathain
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Default 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.
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Old 16th April 2019, 01:34 PM   #2
corrado26
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I know the name of the maker of your pistol, Gabriel Moest, living and working as a gunmaker at Gernsbach in the northern Black Forest about 1850. Over that I think that your pistol is one of a pair out of a box with some tools like a powder flask, bullet mould etc.

As I am living nearby (distance ca 8 km), I tried to find out, wether there are some people in the area today with the name MOEST and I found one family living at Kuppenheim, ca. 10 km from Gernsbach. May be that this family might have relation contacts to Gabriel Moest. But after a telephone call I have to state that this family has unfortunately nothing to do with the Gernsbach branch.
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Old 16th April 2019, 01:48 PM   #3
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I contacted the city archive of Gernsbach and it is possible to visit them and search through their stock. The chance to find something usefull to Gabriel Moest should, as they told me, very good. So I'll arranged a meeting for me in the month of may.
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Old 16th April 2019, 02:04 PM   #4
fernando
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Excelent pistol, MacCathain
...and excellent support, Udo .
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Old 16th April 2019, 03:16 PM   #5
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Udo:

I can't thank you enough for your efforts. I was happy just to have his first name, much less what may come from your visit to Gernsbach on my behalf. It is very much appreciated.

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Old 20th April 2019, 05:28 PM   #6
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Beautiful pistol. Glad to see an ID. Interesting hidden cap storage in the butt cap.

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Old 30th July 2019, 01:53 AM   #7
Will M
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Beautiful pistol from a beautiful city Baden Baden. I was there for a year on the Canadian base and regret not seeing more historical sites and searching out antique militaria. The art in their firearms reflects the area and its people.
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Old 30th July 2019, 01:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M
I was there for a year on the Canadian base.


There is no more a Canadian base but a civilian airport and there are no more Canadian soldiers in the area. Obviously you missed to visit one of the leading military museums of Germany in the castle of Rastatt - just 5km from Basen-Baden.
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Old 31st July 2019, 02:43 AM   #9
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Unfortunately I did miss the museum in Rastatt. Yes the base is long gone from when I was there in 1988/89 just before the wall came down.
I did enjoy driving the autobahn in my Mercedes, 220 kmh I found was slow when someone passes you like you're standing still.
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