MEMPHIS TN FH CLARK Antique DERINGER 1850s .45 Pistol Philadelphia Southern
SILVER and GOLD Banded Barrel
Here we present an antique “Deringer Type” Pistol, made circa the 1850s for sale by the well-known southern dealer F.H. Clark and therefore marked “MANd FOR F.H. Clark & Co. MEMPHIS TENN.” F.H. Clark & Company of Memphis was one of just fifteen authorized agents for Henry Deringer selling his famous pocket pistols…in addition to many copies, like this one. In operation from 1841 to 1870, F.H. Clark & Company sold general merchandise, in addition to arms from Henry Deringer and Deringer’s copyists.
Henry Deringer was a very successful Pennsylvanian gunsmith who started his own company in his early twenties, circa 1809. It was not until the 1850s that his prototypical “Deringer” percussion pistol became extremely popular. Once it did become popular, the basic design was copied in dozens of different shops. Not only was it copied, but Deringer’s good name was stamped on guns made by others, some of them not up to the quality standards of Deringer himself. The inventor was apparently very worried about protecting his good name, so he pursued and sued any of the counterfeiters that he could find and warned the buying public to beware of his spurious imitators.
The Civil War brought new technology to weapons and when sales of the Deringer pistol declined, Henry turned to the courts to defend his trademark. Suits were brought against several of the imitators, but it was his successful 1863-70 case against A. J. Plate that set patent infringement history. A District court awarded Deringer $1,770 in damages and issued a permanent injunction against Plate’s use of the Deringer trademark. On appeal the California supreme court upheld the verdict.
The overall condition is good. Strong action. The bore is smooth and remains in good shape for its age. Stock with a nicely checkered grip; has been repaired of a crack that goes all the way round the grip from the German silver thumb plate to the back part of the trigger bow. Both the ramrod and the ramrod tube are absent. Damascus twist barrel with gold and silver inlaid barrel bands at the breech. A nice example of the scarcer, larger belt-sized “Deringer Type” pistol with more of the original pattern remaining on the barrel than is typically seen preserved.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 5 inches.
Caliber: .45 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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