Premier Firearms Auction
May 12, 13 & 14, 2023
1851 London Exhibition Pair of Gastinne Renette Percussion Target Pistols With Fine Mahogany Case and Brazilian Rosewood Accessories All in Superb Original Condition
Cal. 50 multigroove rifled barrels
S# 1851.787 both (on bottoms of barrels seen when removed from stocks)
The name Gastinne Renette has a world-wide reputation for producing only the finest quality. Just a brief glance at this fine pair of pistols in their original casing upholds that standard; they would most certainly draw the attention of any passers by when displayed. The 1851 London Exhibition was the brainchild of Prince Albert the husband of Queen Victoria. It was meant to celebrate the arts and industry of all nations and took place in the specially built Crystal Palace. It appears that these pistols were made for exhibition there.
They have 10″ octagon barrels engraved “Gastinne Renette a’Paris Exhibition De London 1851” on top flats. The patent breeches are beautifully filed and finely engraved with semi-relief acanthus and scroll. Breech irons with blued “U” notch rear sights are engraved with more scroll surrounding a ladies head on one pistol and a coiled dragon on the other. Island front spring locks with rebated tails have rounded serpentine hammers. The engraving on locks and hammers is of the same type as found on breech irons, dragons match dragons and ladies match ladies. “Gastinne Renette a’Paris” is under each hammer. Triggers are “set” and trigger plate finials are engraved with more scroll and ladies faces. Spurred trigger guards are also engraved to match with full figured nude on dragon engraved pistol and winged female figure on the other. The beauty and workmanship of all this engraving can not be overstated.
Stocks of finely marbled dense French walnut have large flared grips with deep relief engraved steel caps. In place of checkering, grips and forends are relief carved in acanthus and shell motifs. There are no provisions for ramrods. Stocks attach to barrels with captive sidebolts through oval silver escutcheons.
UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: case of crotch figured mahogany is brass bound. A shaped oval medallion on lid is engraved “LPSG”. Interior is lined in purple velvet and has “Gastine – Renette” “Brevete” ” a’ Paris” in gold leaf in lid. Velvet is also decorated with pressed in acanthus scroll. Bottom compartment is French fitted for guns and a fine array of accessories including color case hardened ball mould and powder measure. Also included is a high quality three cavity copper bodied flask by Hawksley. Brazilian rosewood accessories include loading rod with brass head, cleaning rod with brass jag, loading mallet, combination turn screw and nipple wrench and two rosewood containers; one for patches, the other for nipples (contains two spare nipples). There are two covered compartments with turned rosewood knobs; one empty, the other contains another cleaning jag and two keys. A tag attached to keys says “Shown in Man at Arms Jan/Feb 1992” “Role of Honor” “Centerfold”.