November 17, 2020 Early Arms & Militaria: Age of Exploration, Empire & Revolution
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2020
American associated pistols, especially maker-marked and silver-mounted examples, are extremely scarce. Only one other pair of silver-mounted Halbach pistols are known to exist. Halbach & Sons were known for their high-quality steel and began business in Germany. Due to their popularity, they eventually sent one of the sons, Arnold Halbach to set up a retail outlet on Dock Street in Philadelphia. There, he imported parts and entire pistols from the low countries, as well as possibly stocked pistols there. Some Halbach pistols are signed "Halbach & Sons" or the German version "Halbach and Sohne", but many are unmarked. This pair features Halbach's signature pommel caps decorated with relief primitive eagles with shields on their breasts. One cap is decorated with 12 stamped stars around the eagle's head and the other with 13 stars. Both feature Arnold Halbach's silver mark, "AH". The 8" .65 caliber smoothbore brass barrels are unmarked and have swamped muzzles, faceted breech sections and partial top flats decorated with an English style border with a sprig of engraving on top at both breeches. The rounded lockplates are crudely marked "COBLE", probably for the owner rather than the maker, as their is no listing for a Coble. Possibly, this individual bought the parts and stocked these pistols himself. The pierced silver sideplates are English in style and are chased with floral scrolls and foliate motifs. The silver trigger guards are not of English manufacture and are quite diminutive and primitive, terminating in small acorn finials and the bows with relief edges. One rear trigger guard tang has a period oval-shaped silver patch repair over it, retained by two brass pins. The symmetrical silver wrist escutcheons also differ from English furniture with large acanthus leaves at the bottoms and more traditional shells at the tops, vacant inscriptions. The silver pommel caps, as described above, are both hallmarked "A H" for Arnold Halbach. Ramrod ferrules are silver as well. The pistols are stocked in partially figured walnut and have traditional relief-carved clamshells around the barrel tangs. Stocks are slender and of differing form from any English pistols of this style. Ebony ramrods are modern replacements. CONDITION: Barrels retain a mellowing patina and show some wear to engraving, one has a couple casting flaws on the left side. Locks have been polished bright and are in their original flintlock configurations. One lock functions properly and has a replaced top jaw screw, the other needs adjustment and the cock is a replacement. Silver furniture shows wear and retains a polished surface with some components retaining a pewter patina. Both sideplates have had a couple pins added to secure them, as well as pins added during the period around acorn finials of trigger guards. Ramrod ferrules show denting and small losses. Buttcaps show some wear and marks from use. One pistols stock shows heavy wear and has scattered chips, cracks, and filled repairs. The other shows some wear and a couple slivers replaced under lockplate. A very attractive pair of silver-mounted and brass barreled Halbach-hallmarked officer's pistols that were certainly made for and used in America. DMG
Barrel Length
.65 Smoothbore
FFL Status
Halbach & Sons
Flintlock Officers Pistols
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $7,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $15,000 - $40,000
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
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