October 30 - November 2, 2018 Firearms, Militaria, & Sporting
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/30/2018
According to the late Henk Visser, the greatest of all collectors of Dutch firearms, particularly ivory stocked wheel-lock and flintlock pistols, there are approximately only 100 full ivory stocked Dutch pistols in existence. Henk left his entire collection to the Dutch nation and they are presently on display at the Rijksmuseum. Henk’s friend and mentor, Dr. Arne Hoff, classified Dutch ivory stocked pistols into five categories, the second of which is “Heads with a turban”. Genuine Maastricht ivory stocked flintlock pistols are perhaps the rarest, most spectacular, and desirable of all flintlock pistols. Genuine examples are of the greatest rarity. This pistol is the only one to be sold at public auction in America since the pair, bought by Henk Visser in 1981 from the collection of James Ellwood Jones Jr. (Richard A. Bourne Co. September 23rd, 1981: lot 103, $125,000). The long slender barrel is octagonal at the breech with molded cannon muzzle and remnants of engraving at breech. The convex lock, stepped at the pointed toe, is of characteristic late 17th century Dutch form with a delicate floral engraved reserve held in the mouth of a serpent. The swan neck cock is engraved with a sinuous serpent en suite with the lock. The cock is held by a screw ending in a finely chiseled head. The pan with beaded rim and frizzen molded and stepped. Steel trigger guard chiseled with a reserve on bow and ending in a chiseled leaf. Single steel ramrod pipe well turned. The splendid ivory full stock with pommel featuring a magnificent turban headed Turk superbly carved in the round with long nose, fierce mustache, the lifelike eyes inset with ebony pupils. The hair emerging from the exquisitely rendered turban is as perfectly depicted as the finest Japanese netsuke. There is the characteristic high relief carving of foliage framing the barrel tang and on the fore-end a high relief mythical sea monster with inlaid ebony eyes swallowing the steel tipped ivory ramrod. The barrel with worn engraving at breech and overall smooth gray steel with minor corrosion at extreme end of muzzle. The lock is smooth gray steel with no serious corrosion and crisp engraving. The cock engraving is sharp and the chiseled screw head excellent. The action functions well. The trigger guard is bright and shows minor pitting on bow. The ivory stock displays the expected age cracks throughout as do nearly all genuine Dutch ivory stocked flintlock pistols. The right side of the fore end appears to have been cleaned but is likely all original with imperfections as noted. The carving is in excellent condition and is equal in quality to the finest examples in the Rijksmuseum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. the Irene Aiken collection, and the Herbert G. Ratner Jr. collection. The carving of the turbaned Turk is superb with fantastic 17th century patination. Two leaves of the Turk’s feathers are antique losses and are now well worn over centuries. The ivory ramrod may be a period replacement. This ivory stocked pistol is a magnificent work of art and apart from examples in the Herbert G. Ratner Jr. Collection and a pair of wheel-lock pistols in the Aiken Collection, Dutch ivory stocked pistols are unknown in American collections as Henk Visser bought every one in Theodore Dexter’s Scrapbook and returned them to Holland. Given the current regulations governing import of ivory, this is likely the only opportunity for American collectors to acquire an authentic 17th century Dutch ivory stock flintlock pistol. Provenance: The Estate of Warren Tom Lewis and now offered by the heirs.
Barrel Length
11 - 9/16"
.50 Smoothbore
FFL Status
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $13,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $32,400.00
Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000
Number Bids: 16
Auction closed on Friday, November 2, 2018.
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