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Lot 667 - A very scarce pair of Berselli system repeating flintlock pistols - dating: First [...]

Estimation : 15 000 € / 25 000 €

Prix de départ : 15 000 €

Adjugé 36 000 €

Résultats sans frais

A very scarce pair of Berselli system repeating flintlock pistols
dating: First half of the 18th Century
provenance: North Italy

Round, turn-off, three-stage, 10 mm. cal (at the nozzle) barrels, octagonal at the first part, carved at the base with acanthus leaves in bas-relief, from which short ribs begin.
Provided with rings featuring a short, round inscription interrupted by another frame of acanthus leaves outlining the last, smooth and round segment provided with moulded muzzle with foresight.
Flat lock plates with inclined borders, engraved with floral motifs and with a trophy, hammer with eagle, the screw is covered by a beautiful mask in relief.
Rotating breech block made of brass, covered with a silver foil on the right side signed 'Costantino Modena', on the left side provided with a lever that, when turned around 250 degrees, the hammer cocks, the gate leads, the batterie lowers and the bullet and the powder enter the powder chamber.

The mechanic is worked with carvings at the back, with well-relieved sight surrounded by bas-relief leaves around trophies and floral motifs. Briarwood butt (breaking) with finely engraved, gilt-silver mounts. Trigger guards with eagle under the Grand Duchy of Modena crown, the counterplates pierced with spirals and gryphon in relief, the butt-plates depicting the Grand Duchy of Modena eagle under crown.

The final part of the butt-plates decorated with a big mask in relief surrounded by a frame of acanthus leaves; this turn-off element contains the magazines for the bullets and for the powder. A very scarce pair of Berselli-system flintlock pistols that probably belonged either to the Grand Duke Francesco II (reign: 1662-1694) or to a member of his family. Another pair of pistol featuring this scarce system can be found at the History of Science Museum in Florence.The signature Costantino / Modena probably refers to Antonio Costantini from Bologna (see Barbiroli, pages 109-201).
The pistols presented in this auction require an adequate restoration, but they surely are the most beautiful pair of this type that we are acquainted with. length 52.5 cm.

NB. This lot has been declared of high cultural interest by the Ministry of Culture. Therefore it cannot be exported outside Italy.

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