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ID/info on antebellum piece

Henry0ReillyHenry0Reilly Member Posts: 10,882 ✭✭✭
edited April 2008 in Ask the Experts
I am told this is a 6 shot revolver. I have not examined it in person. This is a picture of a picture. It has a patent date of 1830 something. The owner is considering donating it to a museum but would like to know more about the gun.

marionsgun.jpg


Originally posted by perry shooter
Hello Henry are my eyes fooling me it looks like I can read between the two flutes the words cast steel that is upside down in your picture and in front of that is a date that looks like 1931 or more likely 1851
[/quote]

He was quite adamant that the date was 1830 something. Looks like 1831 or 1837 to me.


Thanks guys. I knew there wasn't much detail to be had based on a picture of a picture.

I'll ask him if he can bring it to the next Legion meeting so that I can get some good digital photos.
I used to recruit for the NRA until they sold us down the river (again!) in Heller v. DC. See my auctions (if any) under username henryreilly

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    rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,650 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I believe that your "Pepperbox" would date much later then the 1830's. It appears to be very similar to the ones made by William Marston, who was in business in New York City in the 1850's.

    This type of "Pepperbox" is identified as having a Double Action Mechanism, "Bar Hammer", "Bag Handle" and "Fluted Barrels".
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    nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,879 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It appears to be an Ethan Allen pepperbox. But, there were many similar guns made by them, as well as competitors. Without additional photos, measurements & markings, I doubt there is much we can tell you.

    Neal
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    perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,107 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hello Henry are my eyes fooling me it looks like I can read between the two flutes the words cast steel that is upside down in your picture and in front of that is a date that looks like EDIT[:0]1831 [:0][:I]or more likely 1851
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    mongrel1776mongrel1776 Member Posts: 894 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I rooted through the various listings for pepperbox pistols in Flayderman's, and came across the Manhattan models, made in Norwich, Connecticut in the latter half of the 1850's. The contour of the metal frame on the pictured pistol exactly matches that of the Manhattan .28 caliber model, which in its earlier examples had the words "cast steel" stamped into the barrel cluster. Also, I actually twisted my head around to be able to look at the lettering and date on the pictured gun right-side-up, and it definitely says "1857", which would tally with the second year of the Manhattan's manufacture.

    None of the other pepperboxes pictured in Flayderman's are a close match to this picture. The Manhattan is an almost perfect match -- only the precise design of the engraving is off. Plus, none of the relatively few pepperboxes that were manufactured in the late 1830's much more than vaguely resemble this one. I would venture to guess that the owner's insistence on an 1830's date is based on a misread of the date on the gun, and that what he actually has is a .28 caliber Manhattan of 1857 manufacture. Some 2500 to 3000 of these guns were made; Manhattan was one of the better-known manufacturers of inexpensive handguns in this period; there is solid historical association with these guns. Your friend has a decent collector piece that would make a nice addition to any museum's inventory.

    The copyright date on my 7th edition of Flayderman's is 1998, and at the time of its printing a six-shot Manhattan pepperbox of this type valued at $250.00 in good condition, $650.00 in fine.
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    Henry0ReillyHenry0Reilly Member Posts: 10,882 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mongrel1776
    I rooted through the various listings for pepperbox pistols in Flayderman's, and came across the Manhattan models, made in Norwich, Connecticut in the latter half of the 1850's. The contour of the metal frame on the pictured pistol exactly matches that of the Manhattan .28 caliber model, which in its earlier examples had the words "cast steel" stamped into the barrel cluster. Also, I actually twisted my head around to be able to look at the lettering and date on the pictured gun right-side-up, and it definitely says "1857", which would tally with the second year of the Manhattan's manufacture.

    None of the other pepperboxes pictured in Flayderman's are a close match to this picture. The Manhattan is an almost perfect match -- only the precise design of the engraving is off. Plus, none of the relatively few pepperboxes that were manufactured in the late 1830's much more than vaguely resemble this one. I would venture to guess that the owner's insistence on an 1830's date is based on a misread of the date on the gun, and that what he actually has is a .28 caliber Manhattan of 1857 manufacture. Some 2500 to 3000 of these guns were made; Manhattan was one of the better-known manufacturers of inexpensive handguns in this period; there is solid historical association with these guns. Your friend has a decent collector piece that would make a nice addition to any museum's inventory.

    The copyright date on my 7th edition of Flayderman's is 1998, and at the time of its printing a six-shot Manhattan pepperbox of this type valued at $250.00 in good condition, $650.00 in fine.


    That's very kind of you to go through all that trouble. I thank you and I'm sure the gentleman will ask me to thank you for you efforts.
    I used to recruit for the NRA until they sold us down the river (again!) in Heller v. DC. See my auctions (if any) under username henryreilly
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    XracerXracer Member Posts: 1,990
    edited November -1
    I agree with mongre1776....my 8th Edition of Flayderman's (pg. 111) shows it to be an almost perfect match to the 28 caliber Manhattan pepperbox made from "c. 1856 to late 1850s".

    Values in Flayderman's 8th Edition:

    3 Shot: Good - $375 Fine - $850

    5 Shot: Good - $275 Fine - $750

    6 Shot (3" or 4" barrel): Good - $275 Fine - $750

    6 Shot (5" barrel): Good $400 Fine - $950

    I'd suggest you go to your local library and see if they have a copy of "Flayderman's Guide To Antique American Firearms....and their values" by Norm Flayderman. In Chapter V-C, look up "Manhattan"....you should find it there (pg. 111 in the upper right hand corner in the 8th Edition).
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    Henry0ReillyHenry0Reilly Member Posts: 10,882 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks to you too, xracer.
    I used to recruit for the NRA until they sold us down the river (again!) in Heller v. DC. See my auctions (if any) under username henryreilly
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