Historic Firearms & Militaria 2-Day Live Auction

Historic Firearms & Militaria 2-Day Live Auction

Wednesday, November 2, 2016  |  10:00 AM Eastern
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Historic Firearms & Militaria 2-Day Live Auction

Historic Firearms & Militaria 2-Day Live Auction

Wednesday, November 2, 2016  |  10:00 AM Eastern
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Cowan’s and Little John’s Major Fall Historic Firearms and Early Militaria: Live Salesroom Auction includes an excellent selection of fresh-to-the-market firearms, edged weapons and accoutrements.

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Pg : 1 of 46

Rare, Late 18th Century English Rebus Bible

Lot # 1 (Sale Order: 1 of 1143)      



Anon. The Hieroglyphick Bible, III Edition. 8 x 12.75 in. copy book/journal, likely kept by an English seaman, late 18th century. 46 leaves (92 pp), marbled paper boards. Each page has three (one page with four) selected verses from the King James Bible. The verses are identified along the left or top margins. Each verse is illustrated in rebus form, with many small watercolors throughout. A conservative count of just the Old Testament portion yields a count of over 630 images.

Flayderman apparently acquired this while researching his book, Scrimshaw and Scrimshanders: Whales and Whalemen (New Milford, CT, 1972). Each right hand page has "HKL Fgs" (with a common vertical between H and K) and a number at the bottom after each, possibly the author's initials? Besides each verse being noted, each also has initials and a sequential number, beginning with 364. There are 275 verses (one page with 4, one with 1, the rest with 3), thus the verses are numbered to 639.

This author was no ordinary seaman, however. In the book, especially the first half, God is represented by a disk with rays extending outward, and "Domini" (Latin) within the oval. Later the disk has the Greek letters for "Theos" and at the end, generally the disk has the Hebrew letters for "YHWH." The text portion is in a very neat hand. His walled towns are reminiscent of the "Nuremberg Chronicle" (Liber Chronicarum) woodcuts. All indications are that the maker was well-educated. We would suggest he may have been a chaplain or surgeon on the vessel, or perhaps a missionary setting out to save some souls.

The first 47 pages contain Old Testament verses. The last 33 pages cover the New Testament. Somewhat surprisingly, the middle 12 pages contain verses from the Apocrypha (2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus [Wisdom of Sira], Baruch, Bel & the Dragon, Maccabees [1 & 2]).

While there is no date, there are at least two coins with George III as well as the date of 1796. The military uniforms and styles of civilian clothing, as well as instrument forms all converge on the late 18th century as the most probable date for this Bible.

A wonderful piece of English folk art that certainly has more stories to tell than the ones suggested here. For example, in the verse Job 29: 15 ("I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame.") the artist portrays a man with a cane and dog as the rebus for "the blind." Many histories of guide dogs only trace them to post-WWI. However, there are mentions of guide dogs as early as the 16th century in English literature, and they are possibly depicted in an even earlier mural dating from the first century AD Herculaneum. The choices made for the verses and rebuses within them would be interesting in itself. Some bring a smile: in the verse from Galatians 6:11, his rebus for "letter" is a folded lettersheet with a red wax seal that is addressed "To the Galatians." Every "trip" through reveals new perspectives.

Flayderman and Marian Klamkin (1926-2012), a noted author of a number of books on topics ranging from White House china to folk sculpture, Shaker art, and more, made some attempts to publish this in the 1970s, with Flayderman revisiting the issue again in the 1980s and as late as 2002:This journal, a biblical rebus, has never, until recently, been seen outside of the New Bedford family in whose possession it has been for many generations. A rebus, by the way, is an enigmatical representation of words by pictures. The journal is a collection of verses from the Old and New Testament and possibly was written as a gift for a child. It is one of the most charming and effective examples of an eighteenth century hand-written and -illustrated journal that one could imagine.

...Instead of using illustrations that would relate to biblical times, the British sailor who devised and wrote this bible puzzle used contemporary eighteenth century figures, buildings, tools, musical instruments, uniforms, coins and other objects that would be familiar to anyone who attempted to untangle the puzzle....

The making of sea journals was a common pastime of sailors. … [and] often contained poetry, maxims and random thoughts of the homesick sailor. They were seldom written with any real plan and some record information about ports visited, unusual geological elevations or ship repairs. Therefore, in respect to other sea journals of the period, this biblical rebus is unique. Its author obviously had more talent for drawing and painting than he did for writing and he probably chose verses from the Bible that he felt would more easily adapt to the rebus form.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Water stain along right margin. Lower page edges slightly wrinkled from dampness, but no staining. Cover detached and spine nearly separated.

EST $ 15000-25000...more

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Observations Upon the Rise and Progress of the Late Rebellion Against K. Charles I, Early Handwritte

Lot # 2 (Sale Order: 2 of 1143)      

Bound manuscript on laid paper, 136 pp, with vellum cover, titled Observations Upon the Rise and Progress of the Late Rebellion Against K. Charles the first; In so far as it was carried on by a malcontented faction in Scotland, under the pretext of reformation.

Research indicates that the manuscript could possibly be an early copy of the Bishop of Dunkeld, Henry Guthrie's book published in 1702 as, The Memoirs of Henry Guthrie, Late Bishop of Dunkeld: Containing an Impartial Relation of the Affairs of Scotland, Civil and Ecclesiastical from the Year 1637 to the Death of King Charles I.

Henry Guthrie (also spelled Guthry) was a 17th-century Scottish historian and cleric. Even though King Charles I promoted him to minister in Stirling in 1632, Guthrie was ambiguously involved in the Covenanter Wars and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms that deposed the king and executed him in 1649. Later, he was stripped of his position in 1648 but reinstated in 1656. He became Bishop of Dunkeld in 1665 and held the position until his death in 1676. During his lifetime, he published an account of the rebellion. It was in circulation before it was officially printed in 1702. It is possible the manuscript offered in the lot is an early copy, produced either in 1650 or prior to its official printing. The British Museum catalog references a copy with a similar title with the publication date of 1702 in a folio. There are no other descriptive terms for the item; therefore, it is difficult to determine whether or not the manuscript is similar to the item offered here. No other sales records for a comparable copy have been discovered, making this an exceptionally rare piece.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Some damage to the cover on the verso, toning of the paper, and light pencil markings from a previous owner. Light soiling on the first few pages; otherwise, the book is in remarkable condition.

EST $ 1000 - 1500...more

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Rev War-Era Archive Related to Samuel Holten, MA Statesman & Delegate to the Continental Congress

Lot # 3 (Sale Order: 3 of 1143)      

Collection of 23 papers related to Samuel Holten (1738-1816) spanning from 1751-1814, including: land deeds, requests to pay debts, notes to Holten concerning legal cases, receipts, documents signed and written by Holten, and more.

Physician by trade and politician by passion, Samuel Holten was a zealous Whig who dedicated his life to public service. He began his political career serving as a member of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress from 1774 to 1775 and the Massachusetts Committee of Safety in 1775. A curious portion of a document in the lot simply labeled A draft concerning grievances reads:

The King of Britain is our Sovereign, we bear true allegiance to him and are pleading for his just [illegible] expecting the colonies- That part of the government of the colonies, which of right belongs to the crown ought to be unrestrained and free from every their check but what arises from that share of the Government which our own Houses of Assembly hold of exercise by charter, and should be left to the free exercise of all that [illegible] granted to them by charter there would be no danger of Indepency on the crown. Our charter gives great Power to the crown in its Representative fully sufficient to alliance analogous to the [illegible] all the Liberty privileges reserved to the People--not alaw can pass not a penny of public money can be raised or disposed of by his consent, and should any act of assembly that may be disagreeable to the King accidentally obtain the Governor's consent it may be annuled in time three years by the King. The government has appointment of all executive officers with the Consult of council and solely all of the military officers. He has a negative upon the choice of counsellors, upon the speaker of the House and upon the few civil officers, that are chosen by both Houses,….

The document is not in Holten’s hand. However, an annotation on the margin of the document appears to be written by him. His annotation suggests that another individual drafted the proposal and either sent or gave it to Holten to review. The draft of grievances was most likely produced for either the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, Massachusetts Committee of Safety, or at a local Town Meeting prior to the American Revolutionary War. For entire document, please go to www.cowans.com

On May 20, 1774 the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Massachusetts Government Act and revoked the Massachusetts Charter of 1691. The 1691 Charter established English rule of the colony by appointing a governor, deputy governor and secretary, to be elected by members of the council. It rescinded many of its rights of self-government previously enjoyed by Massachusetts and Plymouth authorities by moving power from elected officials to royally appointed governors. By annulling the charter, the crown reduced Boston to a crown colony, installing a military government and forbidding unapproved town meetings. The charter mentioned in the document is most likely the Massachusetts Charter of 1691. Unable to tolerate the oppression from the crown, Massachusetts men organized the Massachusetts Provincial Congress to discuss whether or not they should rebel. Headed by its President John Hancock, it began meeting in secret on October 7, 1774. Other members of the body included Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and Samuel Holten. Prior to the first meeting, on October 4, 1774, the people of Worcester elected Thomas Bigelow as their representative for the Provincial Congress.

Holten acted as a representative for Massachusetts for the Continental Congress from 1778-1780, 1783-1785, and 1787. During his terms, he signed the Articles of Confederation and acted as its president pro tempore in August 1785. He held many other important political positions at the state level. On May 27, 1796 the first Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, John Avery Jr., wrote to him, Agreeable to the directions of the two branches of the Legislature I have to inform your Honor that you have been elected by them a Counsellor to advise the Governor in the executive part of Government the ensuing year (Boston, May 27, 1796). That same year, he was elected judge in Essex County Probate Court. He kept that position until old age forced him to resign. Holten left the bench in 1815. He died at the beginning of the next year, January 2, 1816, at the age of 77.

The documents in the lot relate to Holten's long life of public service and personal life. For a more complete listing, please go to www.cowans.com

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Range in condition, most have folds and toning but the ink remains dark and legible. There are some brittle folds and edges on some of the documents.

EST $ 1000 - 1500...more

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Joseph Anderson, Revolutionary War Hero and Senator of Tennessee, Letters and Documents Signed

Lot # 4 (Sale Order: 4 of 1143)      

Lot of 10.

Anderson, Joseph (1757-1837). Revolutionary War hero, 21st President pro tempore of the United States Senate (1805), and Senator of Tennessee (1799-1815).

• LS as Comptroller, 1 p, "Treasury Department, Comptrollers Office." July 3, 1821. Addressed to N. Williams. Anderson writes Williams concerning cargo on the Schooner Jane carried in 1819.;

• DS as Comptroller, 1 p, "Treasury Department, Comptrollers Office." October 19, 1830. Account of customs for William Wood.

• ALS as Comptroller, 1 p, "Treasury Department, Comptroller's Office." September 8, 1817. Addressed to Nathaniel Williams. Anderson informs Williams he may purchase a thermometer he requested.

• NS as Comptroller, 1 p, "Treasury Department, Comptroller's Office." September 5, 1825. Addressed to Seth Williams. Anderson notes that he received Williams' oaths and bond.

• LS as Comptroller, 1 p, "Treasury Department, Comptroller's Office." April 5, 1815. Addressed to Nathaniel Williams. Anderson grants a debenature(?) for a shipment of coffee sent by Bordman and Pope.

• ALS as Comptroller, 1 p, "Treasury Department, Comptroller's Office." January 29, 1818. Addressed to Nathaniel Williams. Anderson writes Williams' that he must keep a better record of Treasury receipts.

• DS as Comptroller, 1 p, "Treasury Department, Comptrollers Office." February 12, 1831. Account of customs paying fishermen suspended for want of vouchers.

• DS as Comptroller, 1 p, "Treasury Department, Comptrollers Office." January 20, 1830. Account of customs from October 11 to December 31, 1829.

• ALS, 1 p, "Circular to Collectors." January 21, 1832. Anderson writes that all coffee imported should reflect the present rates and be marked as such.

• ALS, 1 p,"Treasury Department, Comptrollers Office." November 16, 1829. Anderson lets Williams know that his bonds and ballots are renewed and approved.

Following the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, Joseph Anderson enlisted in the 3rd New Jersey Regiment of the Continental Army and rose to the rank of captain and paymaster in less than two years. He fought at the Battle of Monmouth and wintered at Valley Forge. In 1781, he transferred to the 1st New Jersey Regiment and fought at the Battle of Yorktown. President George Washington appointed Anderson United States judge of the newly formed Southwest Territory and he and his father-in-law represented Jefferson County at Tennessee's Constitutional Convention in 1796. The next year the Tennessee General Assembly elected him to the Senate. Although the position was supposed to be temporary, he was re-elected several times. He opposed the Alien and Sedition Acts, federal intervention into the issue of slavery, and the rechartering of the national bank, proposed by his fellow statesman, Andrew Jackson. After retiring from the Senate in 1815, President James Madison appointed him Comptroller of the US Treasury; a position he held until a year before his death in 1837.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Typical folds of all the paper, some have light toning. One document as some tears. Some brittle folds on a few.

EST $ 600 - 800...more

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Extraordinary Barbary Wars-Era, United States Naval Officer's POW Diary, Ca 1803-1805

Lot # 5 (Sale Order: 5 of 1143)      

Journal containing approx. 131 pp of descriptive entries written by a naval officer serving aboard the US Frigate Philadelphia during the First Barbary War. In exciting detail, he records his capture and experiences as a POW under the control of a greedy bashaw on the North African coast from 1803 until 1805. The journal reads like a novel with stories of pirates, an intense naval battle, intrigue, love, betrayal, a daring escape attempt, and more. Outlandish as the account may seem, other published works by fellow prisoners confirm almost every detail. This important journal, however, has not been published.

The unidentified author dramatically begins:

Twelve years I have been a wanderer, a solitary wanderer on the earth; separated from life, children, relations, and friends, alone, thou' in the midst of company, and tho', in the course of that time, I have experienced critical situations, reduced circumstances, and the most painful dilemmas…It is an affair of great concern to the publik who, at a future day may require of me as well as of others, an account of it, I feel myself under a kind of obligation to commit to writing…from my memory a circumstantial statement of it: as far, at least as respects the loss of the Frigate Philadelphia and the consequent captivity of her Captain, officers and crew, amounting to one/three(?) hundred and seven persons.

The First Barbary War, also known as the Tripoli War, began as an action against practiced state-supported piracy that robbed the United States, Sweden, and other European traders of its valuable goods. Trade giants Great Britain and France approved of the measures taken by Tripoli and other North African countries because it nearly eliminated competition from other rising economic powers. Thomas Jefferson tried in vain to create a conglomeration of weaker European navies to protect themselves and United States’ ships from attack. Piracy persisted until finally, in 1801, the United States retaliated by raising a navy of six ships to fight against the Bashaw of Tripoli, Yusuf Qaramanli. The frigate Philadelphia was one of the ships built specifically for the conflict, and, in 1803, fell during the Second Battle of Tripoli Harbor. The author of the journal described the event:

On Monday, October 31st, 1803 at 9:00 a.m. being seven leagues to the Eastward of Tripoli…We immediately made sail in chase, and about ten, being within random shot and perceiving [a ship] was armed, began firing on her from the first and second division, larboard side. …. The ship ran aground, helpless in the face of constant fire…

With no way of defending themselves against capture, the crew furiously tried to salvage what they could from the ship. The author agonized on what he could save. He pocketed 30 doubloons and stuffed his wife's letters in his jacket.

Bainbridge commanded the crew to drill holes in the ship's bottom, dampen the gunpowder, set fire to the sheets, and throw all other weapons thrown overboard before surrendering.

The men took the captain and superior officers to their leader, the bashaw. They were interned in a prison, deprived of every enjoyment of life, mere existence accepted and cut off from all communication with the rest of mankind (January 1, 1805).

Unfortunately, the crew's attempts to destroy the ship failed. Later that month, enemy sailors repaired the holes and used the Philadelphia in battle. Too great of a prize to remain in enemy hands, Lieutenant Stephen Decatur Jr. and a party of volunteers from another ship boarded the Philadelphia under the cover of night, while pretending to be a ship in distress. They boarded the ship and set it on fire while its crew languished in Tripoli.

The author of the journal writes lengthy stories of betrayal, theft, intrigue, and a brave escape attempt that would have succeeded if the rescue boats were in position. Rather than risk their lives, the escapees returned to the prison without raising any suspicion. The journal ends Sunday, June 10, 1805, with a description of an ongoing negotiation between the captain and their warden.

Supplementary research included with the lot suggests that the author of the diary is Keith Spence. The identification is based on a letter he copies in his journal addressed to Mrs. Spence and son. However, The Huntington Library in California has a collection of Kenneth Spence’s family papers, including letters to his wife during his imprisonment. After further inspection and comparing the handwriting of the journal to Spence's papers, we determined that this is not the diary of Kenneth Spence but another officer on board.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: The diary remains mostly intact with some damage to the binding, toning of the paper, and a few loose pages.

EST $ 6000 - 8000...more

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Engraved 16th Century Wheelock Powder Flask

Lot # 6 (Sale Order: 6 of 1143)      

12.75 in. long engraved horn powder flask for use with a wheelock. 2.75 in. spout and 10 in. body with wood plug on bottom. Two iron suspension rings. Engraved with classical motifs including the satyr, Pan, a Romanized version of the Egyptian god Anubis (Hermanubis - a dog headed man carrying a caduceus, guider of souls to the underworld), a naked Roman man, a Roman woman, a smaller satyr and numerous goats. Additional decoration includes leaves and geometric designs. A very old paper tag is attached to the bottom which has the following written in a lovely hand in very old ink: Gunpowder flasket once belonging to the Duke of Cesi and Aquasparta founder of the "Academia dei Lincei" (1606).

Frederico Cesi was the son of the Duke of Aquasparta and in 1603 he and his associates founded the Academia dei Lincei (Academy of the Lynxes) in Rome, which was also known as the Lyncaeorum Academia. This was the first exclusively scientific academy in the world and among its members were the Dutch physician John Heck and the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Very good overall. Fine carving and decoration with the flask showing appropriate age and wear for an item from the late 1500s or early 1600s. Some minor loss and chipping to the horn structure, particularly at the spout. Small void in Pan's body. Some chipping and loss to the wood base. Old collection tag is probably from the 19th century and is difficult to authenticate, but blends nicely with the motifs depicted on the flask and shows good age. A very nice and scarce example of a very early powder flask.

EST $ 1500 - 3000...more

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Full-stock Flintlock Kentucky Rifle by Nicholas Beyer

Lot # 7 (Sale Order: 7 of 1143)      

.44 caliber, 43 in. rifled octagonal barrel. The top flat of the barrel is engraved N* Beyer*, with a brass blade front sight and a fixed dovetail rear sight. The trigger features Beyers typical rear flare. The stock is mounted with brass furniture, including a fore end cap, ferrules, trigger guard with finger spur, sideplate, buttplate and a toe plate. The butt also features an engraved brass four piece patchbox that features a figural stork in the typical style of Beyer. The curly maple stock features serpentine incised along the side of the barrel, with relief carvings at the tang and on either side of the lock and sideplate. The butt also features ornate incisions and relief carvings. An oval German silver thumbprint is pinned at the wrist. With hickory ramrod. Nicholas Beyer was a master gunsmith of the Lebanon, Pennsylvania school, active in the early 19th century.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: The barrel has a mostly a gunmetal grey mixing with brown patina, with light speckling throughout, and light pitting near the pan. Very sharp and crisp markings on the barrel. Lockplate with dark brown patina and pitting under the pan. Pitting around the touch hole protruding onto the barrel. The stock has been expertly repaired at the wrist and an old repaired about 16" from the muzzle. Carving is very nice and stock has rich patina. Ramrod is a proper replacement. Overall this is a very nice Beyer rifle.

EST $ 3000 - 5000...more

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Full-stock Flintlock Kentucky Rifle by A. Altland

Lot # 8 (Sale Order: 8 of 1143)      

.40 caliber, 43.5 in. rifled octagonal barrel with deep groove rifling. The barrel is signed A. Altland in cursive, and features a German silver blade front sight and an engraved notched dovetail rear sight. Relief carvings are found around the underside of the rear ferrule, and around the lock, tang and engraved brass sideplate. The butt also features exquisite raised carvings around the raised cheek piece. A silver oval thumbprint is behind the relief carvings around the tang. Stock with brass furniture, including a finely engraved four piece brass patchbox. Stripped ramrod.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: The barrel and lock have an even untouched patina. A small hairline crack about 13 in. from the muzzle. The stock has some nicks and dings, but is in a mostly very good condition. The bore is good and will clean to very good. The action is good. Brass with nice untouched patina. Stock may be an old refinish. Some nicks and dings.

EST $ 8000 - 10000...more

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Full-stock Early American Iron Mounted Flintlock Rifle

Lot # 9 (Sale Order: 9 of 1143)      

.58 caliber, 42 in. octagonal rifled barrel. A maker's mark appears stamped on the left of the barrel, however it is indiscernible. With German silver blade front sight and split dovetail rear sight. The lock is unmarked. With brass sideplate and brass trigger guard with a finial and finger spur. Full stock with raised cheek piece and a restored curly maple patchbox. The rifle appears to likely be from Eastern Pennsylvania.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: The barrel and lock have a dark brown patina, with some areas of oxidization. The stock has some old repairs along the edge of the barrel, along with an old repair behind the tang. There is an area of wear on the stock directly above the hammer. The trigger does not function properly. The bore needs to be cleaned.

EST $ 1500 - 2500...more

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Curly Ash Full-stock Flintlock Kentucky Rifle

Lot # 10 (Sale Order: 10 of 1143)      

.44 caliber, 45 in. octagonal barrel. The barrel has a German silver blade front sight and notched rear sight. The barrel and lock are both unmarked. The rifle features a brass sideplate and a brass trigger guard with a finger spur. The curly ash stock has a beautiful grain, with a raised cheek piece that features an inlaid eight-pointed star. Stock with incised carving. It also has a unique brass two-piece patchbox, with an almost fleur-de-lis form. With a brass crescent style buttplate and an ash ramrod.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Barrel with dark brown patina. Lockplate has even look with the barrel. Stock has been cleaned. Brass with nice patina. Ramrod is a replacement.

EST $ 2500 - 3500...more

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Full-stock Kentucky Flintlock Rifle Attributed to Frederick Sell

Lot # 11 (Sale Order: 11 of 1143)      

Attributed to Frederick Sell, the younger. Reconverted to flintlock. .46 caliber, 39.5 in. rifled octagonal barrel. German silver blade front sight with split dovetail rear sight. With unmarked brass lock and engraved brass sideplate. The curly maple stock features incised carved moldings along the length of the barrel, with raised carvings around the fore end ferrule and also around the lock, sideplate and tang. The butt also features raised carvings, along with an engraved brass three-piece patchbox. The cheek piece has an inlaid and engraved silver eight point star. There is also an inlaid silver oval thumbpiece behind the tang relief carvings. The oval appears to have the initials B.C.M., but the engraving is hard to distinguish. Stock with brass furniture, including a crescent buttplate with an engraved floorplate.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: The barrel has a nice untouched dark patina. The stock has an old repaired crack on either side of the center brass ferrule. The carvings on the stock are excellent. The bore and action are good.

EST $ 10000 - 20000...more

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US Model 1842 Percussion Pistol by H. Aston

Lot # 12 (Sale Order: 12 of 1143)      

.54 caliber, 8.5 in. barrel. Top of barrel is marked near the breech in four lines M.S. / U.S. / G.W. / P. Dated 1851 on the top of the tang near the breech. Lockplate marked U.S. / H. Aston & Co., and in the rear of the lockplate, Middtn, Conn dated 1851. Brass furniture with walnut stock. The stock bears two inspector's cartouches, and is stamped JH.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Barrel has been lightly polished to bright with some light staining. Lock and hammer with sharp markings and traces of light staining. Brass with tarnished look. Stock with open-grained look and two mint cartouches.

EST $ 1500 - 2000...more

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British Boxlock Flintlock Pistol by W. Jover Inscribed to British Naval Hero, Adm. Lord Nelson, 1794

Lot # 13 (Sale Order: 13 of 1143)      

.50 bore diameter, 2 in. smooth bore barrel length, no S/N. Markings on the left side of the frame in 2 lines W. Jover over London. Right side of frame engraved with panoply of arms. German silver plaque on the backside of the grips with inscription H. Nelson R.N. 1794. Proof marks on the frame and barrel. Walnut stock and folding trigger. While the gun and inscription are likely of the period, we cannot confirm that the pistol belonged to Horatio Lord Nelson.

Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson (1758-1805) was a British naval commander and national hero, famous for his naval victories in the Napoleonic Wars. The tragedy of his mother's death allowed Nelson to begin his naval career at age twelve, when his uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling, agreed to take him to sea. Spending his formative years at sea allowed him to grow into an impressive young man with an unparalleled knowledge of navigation and nautical warfare. When he reached twenty years of age, he passed the examination for lieutenant and sailed for the West Indies. He was promoted to captain two years later, in 1779, and given command of the frigate HMS Hinchingbroke. Peace after the American Revolution did not suit him well. Policies enacted by the defeat caused him to work at half pay and without assignment until Britain entered the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793. He took command of the Agamemnon and helped capture Corsica. He saw battle at Calvi, but lost sight in his right eye after a shower of gravel hit him in the face. Later, he lost his right arm at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife while leading one of the landing parties in an assault. The loss of an eye and limb did not hinder his ability to command. In the most overwhelming victory in the age of sail, he successfully destroyed Napoleon's fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798 which opened a direct trade route to India. By 1801, he earned a promotion to vice-admiral and continued to display British naval dominance over the French until his death at the battle of Cape Trafalgar. In the thick of heavy fire, a sniper shot him while he sent out his last signal to his fleet, "England expects that every man will do his duty". His parting words solidified his position as one of Great Britain's most heroic figures. Instead of burying him at sea, his men preserved his body in brandy and transported him back to England where he received a state funeral; a fitting tribute to one of the greatest officers in the history of the Royal Navy.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Nice gray patina blending with some staining on the metal surfaces with very light salt and pepper pitting. The markings and engraving are sharp and crisp. The stocks are very good with minor nicks and dings. Mechanically good. Bore is good.

EST $ 2000 - 4000...more

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Early USMC Musician's Brass Eagle Hilt Sword

Lot # 14 (Sale Order: 14 of 1143)      

28 in. engraved blade. These ca 1820s-1830s solid brass-hilted eagle pommel swords were unidentified for many years until Norm Flayderman turned up sketches of swords in the work books of the Widmann Sword Factory in Philadelphia. The books were brought by a workman of Widmann’s to the Horstmann Company after Widmann’s death in 1848, when Horstmann incorporated the Widmann operation into his own.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Good.

EST $ 1500 - 2000...more

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US Starr Model 1798 Cavalry Saber

Lot # 15 (Sale Order: 15 of 1143)      

33.5 in. blade with fuller near false edge. Marked near the guard U.S. and dated 1799. Iron guard with leather and brass wrapped handle. No scabbard. Rare sword.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Blade, guard and pommel have nice untouched dark patina. Handle still retains most of the leather with some stains of brass wire remaining. Overall very good.

EST $ 1000 - 2000...more

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American Naval Dirk by Wm. Read

Lot # 16 (Sale Order: 16 of 1143)      

>15.5 in. spear point blade, silver guard with hallmarks. Ivory octagonal shaped handle with silver capped pommel. Leather scabbard with silver band and throat. Marked on the throat, Wm Reed Nephew Cutlers Portsmouth.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Blade has some dark staining. Some traces of high blue finish near the guard. Scabbard has been re-wrapped in leather. Overall good.

EST $ 1000 - 1500...more

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American Naval Officer's Dirk With Eagle and Anchor Pommel

Lot # 17 (Sale Order: 17 of 1143)      

4 in. spear point blade, 7.25 in. in overall length with baluster turned bone grip. Gold gilt brass mounts and guard with a spread winged eagle over anchor on the pommel cap. Gold gilt brass scabbard with two suspension rings.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Very good, with the blade retaining some original polish, but showing evenly distributed surface oxidation and discoloration as well. Mounts in fine condition retaining much of their original gold gilt. Original leather throat washer in place. Pommel cap in fine condition as well with crisp motifs. Bone grip has a lovely mottled ivory color with flecks of brown throughout. Grip, mounts and blade are solid without any looseness. Scabbard fine as well, much original gilt finish remaining. A very attractive diminutive American naval dirk.

EST $ 1500 - 2000...more

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American Naval Officer's Dirk

Lot # 18 (Sale Order: 18 of 1143)      

7.5 in. spear point blade, 12.5 in. overall length. Bone hilt. Brass crossguard with acorn finials and brass ferrule. Blued blade etched with floral patterns and martial naval motifs with gold gilt highlights. Brass sheet metal scabbard with two suspension rings. Engraved with an American Eagle motif and a fouled anchor, as well as floral splays.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Good to very good overall. Blade retains some of its original blued finish which has faded and dulled with age, and shows scattered surface oxidation and discoloration. Unfinished portion of blade with dull pewter patina and scattered discoloration. Blade shows minor scattered pinpricking. Hilt with some longitudinal cracks and a chip on the upper reverse of the grip. The bone has a nice rich ivory tone to it with some scattered surface scuffs and scratches. Scabbard in about fine condition with traces of original gold gilt in protected areas. Engraving remains crisp and sharp.

EST $ 1000 - 1500...more

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American Eagle Head Dirk

Lot # 19 (Sale Order: 19 of 1143)      

5.25 in. spear point blade with oval cross section, 9 in. in overall length. Baluster turned bone grip with Eagle head pommel cap and 3.125 in. long guard. Mounts are not hall marked and are probably coin silver. Blued blade etched with floral motifs on both sides, and with an American Eagle on the reverse and panoplies of arms on the obverse, all highlighted with gold gilt. Silver plated metal scabbard with suspension two rings.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Good to very good overall. Blade retains some original bright blued finish, which had faded and dulled to a dark blue-gray patina. Etched decorations remain clear and retain much of their original gold gilt. The mounts have a medium pewter patina and remain in fine condition. The bone grip has two large chips at the base of the pommel cap, as well as some longitudinal cracks. The eagle head pommel cap is loose and will rotate. The scabbard has a chip missing at the throat on the obverse and shows some minor bumps and dings, but retains much of its original silver plated finish, with the expected dulling and tarnishing. A really attractive early American naval dirk worthy of a quality restoration to include with a collection of Eagle Head swords.

EST $ 700 - 1200...more

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US Federal Era Naval Officer's Dirk

Lot # 20 (Sale Order: 20 of 1143)      

6.5 in. blade length, 10.5 in. overall length. Silver quillon and sunburst engraved pommel. GR engraved on mount with ivory grips. This dirk is circa 1790. Leather scabbard with silver throat and tip.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: The blade is fine with sharp lines and some staining throughout. The grip is good with a pleasing yellowing patina. Engravings are sharp and crisp. Scabbard is in fine condition.

EST $ 600 - 1000...more

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Federal Era Naval Dirk Scabbard and Hanger

Lot # 21 (Sale Order: 21 of 1143)      

10.25 in. long gold gilt sheet brass scabbard for a naval dirk with approximately .875 in. wide throat opening. Two suspension rings and old leather hangers with iron ring. Scabbard is decorated with lightly engraved floral designs and splays, and with punch dot boarders. Early 1800s, ca 1812-1825. Accompanied by original handwritten Flayderman tag.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Very good to near fine, with scabbard retaining the majority of its original gold gilt, the majority of which is on the reverse. Engraved designs remain crisp. Scabbard shows some minor bumps, dings and dents and a minor bend near the tip. An extremely scarce item to find on the loose, and a wonderful addition to your early American naval dirk that is missing its scabbard.

EST $ 600 - 800...more

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European Military Dirk

Lot # 22 (Sale Order: 22 of 1143)      

8.25 in. spear point blade with etched panels. Fluted ivory handles with the gilt brass pommel, guard, and ferrule. Gilt engraved brass scabbard with chain hanger.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Scabbard, guard and brass scabbard retain most of the gilt finish with some thinning. Blade still retains most of the original polished finish. Overall excellent.

EST $ 2500 - 4000...more

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European Silver Mounted Small Dirk

Lot # 23 (Sale Order: 23 of 1143)      

4.5 in. blade length, overall length 6.5 in. The blade has a blue finish with a gilt pattern on each side. Engraved silver mounted pommel and guard. Comes with silver scabbard. Handle is made of amberlite.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: The blade is in excellent condition retaining the bright blue finish with gilt pattern. The pommel and guard are in very good condition. The amberlite handle is in excellent condition. The scabbard is near excellent condition. Overall a great European Small Dirk.

EST $ 1000 - 1500...more

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European Silver Mounted Dirk

Lot # 24 (Sale Order: 24 of 1143)      

9.75 in. long triangular blade, 13.5 in. overall length. Blade style similar to those found on small swords or court swords. Wooden one-piece grip with silver pommel cap, escutcheons, ferrule and crossguard. Reverse grip escutcheon engraved G Mc F. Accompanied by a metal scabbard (possibly German silver) with lightly engraved geometric and floral motifs, two suspension rings.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: About very good overall. Blade is dull and shows age and significant discoloration along with some scattered surface oxidation and light pitting. Mount is a dull pewter patina, grip in very good condition with minor handling and surface mars. Scabbard solid with minor dents and dings, suspension rings intact. An interesting and attractive late 18th or early 19th century dirk.

EST $ 750 - 1000...more

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European Small Dirks, Lot of Two

Lot # 25 (Sale Order: 25 of 1143)      

5.25 in. spear point blade, silver handled, and scabbard. Engraved on the scabbard with the script initials, L.D.

4 in. spear point blade, silver ferrule and guard. Silver pommel with silver scabbard.

Provenance: N. Flayderman and Co., Inc.

Condition: Excellent.

EST $ 800 - 1200...more

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