LEWIS & TOMES DERINGER Pistol BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND NEW YORK CITY NYC Antique
1840s .54 Caliber Single Shot Sidearm
Here we present an antique Lewis & Tomes Marked Deringer Type Pistol, made circa the 1840s to the early 1850s. Lewis & Tomes was a Birmingham / New York retail house, with Edward Lewis remaining in England and Francis Tomes arriving in New York in 1819. The firm imported all manner of military goods, including guns, swords, accoutrements, and buttons. According to the New York city directories, the firm broke up in the 1830s, but at least one pair of post-1850 revolvers has been noted with the Lewis & Tomes mark, indicating that they still served an import trade. The successor firm in the United States was Miller & Tomes, and later Tomes, Melvain & Co., which carried the house through the Civil War. They went bankrupt in 1883.
This little self-defense pistol would have been most at home in the pocket of anyone in the busy cities of New York, Philadelphia, or Chicago during the tumultuous times of the mid-1800s. These type pistols are small, light and simple. Men would carry them concealed in a waistcoat pocket and women would hide them in a hand muff. This single shot pistol would have fired a .54 caliber ball.
The name “Deringer” often invokes certain historical event, characters or moments in film. Deringer’s name has become both a noun and a catch-all term. President Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed with one of Henry Deringer’s pocket sized percussion pistols, the night John Wilkes Booth revenged the South at the Ford Theater. They conjure images of the California Gold Rush, as well as riverboat gamblers. These pistols were very practical for the time, being small and concealable and a fairly large bore size.
The overall condition is good. Dark patina throughout. The action is strong. Smooth, patinated bore. The stock has a repair through the grip. German silver hardware and décor. The top of the barrel is marked “London FINE TWIST”.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 5-1/8 inches.
Caliber: .54 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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