Lot 2048

A pistol with a Forsyth firing system, Forsyth & Co, London, circa 1820

The J. Durval Collection of Antique Firearms | A82d | Live auction | 167 Lots

Hammer price € 12,000

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Octagonal, blued Damascus steel barrel with smooth bore in 11.5 mm calibre, inscribed "Forsyth & Co Patent. Gunmakers. London" on the top, colour case hardened, patent breechblock with a gold band inlay, the tang delicately engraved. Equally lavishly engraved lock, the appliquéd percussion cap with an ivory stopper, the lock plate inscribed "Forsyth & Co Patent", blued sliding safety for the cock, set trigger. The half stock with en suite engraved iron furniture with remnants of bright bluing, the grip with exquisite chequering. The ramrod with brass tip and bullet puller. Length 38 cm.
Alexander John Forsyth (1769 - 1843) was actually a clergyman and took up his first post after obtaining his degree in 1790. However, in addition to his pastoral duties, he applied himself to the study of chemistry. Between 1805 and 1807, he built his innovative firing mechanism for firearms, having it patented in 1807. This system utilises a revolving container for fulminate of mercury, known as the "scent-bottle lock", which was mounted on the lock plate. When the container is turned, some priming powder trickles into the specially designed cavity under the firing pin; when the container is returned to its original position, the cock can be blown back and the charge is ignited in the barrel.
A fine pistol whose firing system represents a milestone in the development of the lock. In exceptionally beautiful condition.
Attention - shipping to non-EU countries subject to CITES.

Condition: I - II

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General Information

The auction includes 167 lots and starts on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 4 pm (CET). Lot no. 2001 - 2167. The pre-sale viewing will take place from May 21 - 24, 2020 from 2 to 6 pm (CET). However, the number of participants for both auction and viewing is limited due to Covid-19 restrictions and requires an appointment. Bring your favourite breathing mask! Prior to any visit please check our website - we'll update it as soon as the situation changes.