Italian Flintlock Pistol Made for the Eastern Market, Late 18th C
Banana-shaped lock with grooved frizzen; engraved with acanthus in relief; remains of gilding and false Arabic signature. Tapering 11" round barrel of approx. .52 cal. with flat sides at breach; chiseled with gilt acanthus in relief and gilt tang; attached to the stock with a long silver barrel band featuring Islamic motif with crescent and star. Walnut full stock with relief carving around its matching chiseled steel mounts. Silver butt cap and vacant escutcheon on wrist. Very good quality, probably made in Tuscany. The basic decoration is of European style with the acanthus motif, but by adding the Arabic signature and silver barrel band it was easily transformed for the Eastern market. This allowed the same gun to be offered to either market with only simple modifications. Metal generally smooth with dark patina. Approx. 50% of original gilding remains on barrel. Wood shows some wear and minor losses due to age and use, with an old 2 1/2" piece spliced in front of the lock. Overall length 15 1/2".