1760 English Flintlock Officer’s Pistols

Value (2009) | $5,000 Auction$7,000 Auction

GUEST:
I bought them as kind of a group set, so there was another gun in with them, at an estate sale in Denver. And for all three of them I paid $1,500.

APPRAISER:
What can you tell me about these?

GUEST:
Not a whole lot. I believe they're about a .50 caliber. I know that they're a matched set of dueling pistols, and that I believe they date before the Revolutionary War.

APPRAISER:
Okay. Well, I don't think they're dueling pistols. They certainly could have been used for a duel, but there are certain specifications that dueling pistols come under. And particularly if these... they're sort of the size. They're officer's pistols. And they're English. And you're correct, and they're probably before the Revolutionary War. And the reason we know that, which is very helpful, is that inside here, on the inside of the trigger guard, are silver hallmarks. And the hallmarks tell us that they're sterling silver, they were made in London, and that they were made in 1760.

GUEST:
Oh, my.

APPRAISER:
Mm-hmm. And the bottom one, right down here, says "TI," which you'll probably... if you can do further research you would be able to determine who the silversmith was that did these. You also know that it says here that they're in London.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And that these are London proof marks. So every firearm that was made in England would have to be proofed for safety. The locks are signed along here, "Brander," and that would have been William Brander, who was also active in the middle 18th century. So they are pre-Revolutionary War officer's pistols. And it's entirely conceivable that they saw service during the Revolutionary War...

GUEST:
Wow. ...

APPRAISER:
by either a British or an American officer. I think at auction, conservatively, they would fetch around $5,000 to $7,000.

GUEST:
Oh, very nice. Well, then I guess I should probably insure them.

APPRAISER:
I think you should insure them for the higher end, towards $7,000.

GUEST:
Okay, that's good to know. 1760-- wow, that's very exciting.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Bonhams, San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Appraised value (2009)
$5,000 Auction$7,000 Auction
Event
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)
Period
18th Century
Form
Pistol
Material
Metal, Silver

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