A CASED PAIR OF 50 BORE FRENCH BREECH-LOADING PERCUSSION RIFLED TARGET PISTOLS BY GASTINNE-RENETTE, PARIS, NOS. 3495 AND 3496, DATED 1885 AND 1886
with browned octagonal rifled barrels, signed 'Inv Gastinne-Renette A Paris', numbered '1' and '2' respectively, fitted with blued fore-sights, struck with the dates and numbered beneath the breeches, scroll-engraved blued tangs incorporating the back-sights, scroll-engraved case-hardened stepped flush-fitting locks signed in small letters along the bottom, blued triggers, highly figured walnut half-stocks with finely chequered butts, iron mounts comprising engraved blued spurred trigger-guards also forming the barrel levers, decorated with the owner's crest, a boar's head, above the motto 'Vi Aut Virtute', scroll-engraved case-hardened pommel caps, vestigial side-plates and barrel bolt escutcheons, and much original finish throughout: in their original brass-bound fitted mahogany case lined in blued velvet (cracked on the reverse), the lid with brass escutcheon engraved with the owner's crest and motto on the outside and the maker's name in gilt letters on the interior, complete with accessories including powder-flask by Dixon & Sons, Sheffield, burnished bullet mould, nipple-wrench and turn-screw
25.4 cm; 10 in barrels
The firm of Gastinne-Renette was one of the leading target and duelling pistol makers in Paris during the 19th century. They won medals at the Paris exhibitions of 1839 and 1844, as well as holding appointments to Napoleon III and the King of Spain. Duelling lessons were still available at the firm's premises in the Champs-Elysées until the outbreak of the First World War, where it is still represented to this day. The champion shot, Walter Winans devotes a chapter to "Gastinne-Renette's gallery in Paris", in The art of Revolver Shooting (1911), where he concludes "in regard to galleries where one can get pistol practice, that of Gastinne-Renette in Paris stands easily first, and not only is it lit up in the best style for all sorts of shooting, but the weapons supplied are the best in the world"
£5000 - 7000 Click here for details of BP and other fees payable on this lot.