CASED Pair of ENGRAVED, DAMASCUS Belgian DUELING or TARGET Pistols
Liege Proofed & Maker Marked Pistols
Here we present a matched pair of Belgian Dueling or Target Pistols, made circa the 1830s in Belgium. Belgium has, for centuries now, been a major weapon-making center for the world. Here are two fine examples of Belgian craftsmanship. Each of these fine pistols features an 8-1/2 inch octagonal barrel in Damascus. Each of the bores in .45 caliber. The locks, breech tangs, and trigger guards are beautifully engraved and case colored. Each is equipped with a single set trigger and fixed sights. They come in an very old, fitted wooden case with violet felt lining. Each accessory has its own home, including the loading/cleaning rod, mallet, mold, powder flask, screw driver, and bullets. The underside of the barrel is stamped “HL” for the maker, which has not yet been discovered. However, this maker’s mark was also located on a notable and similar pair of pistols that once belonged to a career Dutch soldier, Lieutenant Schmitz, who fought on behalf of France and Napoleon. Along with the Horse Legion of Hanover he fought the Spanish during the Peninsular War from approximately 1808 to 1811, then participated in the ill-fated invasion of Russia (1812), which he survived. He was dismissed from the French Army in 1814, whereupon he joined the 5th Dragons of the Netherlands and fought in the Battle of Waterloo against Napoleon. Finally, he fought against the Netherlands in Belgium’s bid for independence (c.1831). These maker’s markings helps date these pistols to that period.
The overall condition of both pistols is good. Excellent Damascus twist pattern remains on the barrels. Engravings are sharp. The case colors are vivid. The stocks are generally in good condition with the exception of the lower pistol, which has a repaired crack on the left side and two smaller, repaired cracks above the lock. The upper gun’s hammer spur and hammer screw head were broken off at some point. The hammer is still tight to the lock. Bores are both in good condition with nice rifling. Mechanics are excellent. The accessories are all in nice condition. The case has taken a bit of abuse and has a punky and porous bottom with some of the veneer peeling but certainly does the the pistols justice. A fantastic set for display.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 8-1/2 inches.
Caliber: .45 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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