Magnificent Exhibition Quality Gold Finished Russian Tula Arsenal Attributed Flintlock Pistol

Currency:USD Category:Antiques / Firearms & Armory Start Price:12,000.00 USD Estimated At:25,000.00 - 50,000.00 USD
Magnificent Exhibition Quality Gold Finished Russian Tula Arsenal Attributed Flintlock Pistol
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According to information provided by the consignor, this arm was the product of Russia's Tula Arsenal. Established by order of Tsar Peter the First in 1712, Tula was Imperial Russia's first state armory, established to take advantage of the pre-existing private gunsmithing industry and readily available raw materials in the city of Tula. In addition to supplying martial arms, Tula was deeply connected to the Russian nobility, and no doubt would have been the prime source of high end custom weaponry, such as this example. Equipped with a blade front sight and notch rear sight, the former an integral part of the 3/4 inch wide gold barrel band, the latter part of the floral scroll engraved tang. The barrel itself shows a strong deep Damascus twist pattern with alternating bands of differing twist density, creating a spiral stripe pattern which emphasizes and draws out the twist designs, as well as a gold touchhole plug. Additional floral scroll engraving is present on the body of the hammer and the rear section of the lock plate, showing an array of flags and drums on the lock ahead of the hammer, finely sculpted and engraved flash pan fence and hinge, and a roller frizzen spring finished in a fiery niter blue. The stock is a finely checkered full length walnut, with raised teardrop flats on each side, scroll borders above and below the checkering, and extensive gold furnishing; the aforementioned barrel band bears a light border engraving on the topside, with a raised scale design leading to floral sections on the underside. The ramrod pipe is scroll engraved, a floral bouquet pattern is present on the trigger guard and finial, with the front section of the guard sculpted into a serpent clutching a feathered fan in its mouth, the reverse plate takes the form of a conjoined pair of bird's heads, and an array of feathers on an oval plate atop the wrist. The buttcap demands special attention, being a two piece assembly with a 3/20 inch ribbed iron panel serving as a base, upon which is mounted a 13/20 inch gold panel, which is decorated around the sides with a dot backed scroll pattern, and the bottom is nearly covered with a raised sculpted flower design.
BBL: 6 3/4 inch round
Gauge: 60
Finish: bright/gold
Grips: walnut
Serial Number: NSN
Condition: Excellent plus. The bright components show a small amount of spotting, and the screws retain 60% of a fiery niter blue finish. A deep well aged patina is present on the silver butt component, and a few minimal handling marks are present on the gold. The ramrod is absent, otherwise the stock is excellent, with some pressure dents. Engraving quality of all components is superb with attractive line work and detail and the Damascus pattern is sharply defined. A superb demonstration of the Russian gunsmithing arts, as well as an artifact from one of the key arsenals of Imperial Russia.