Hermann Historica’s big five
As we explained last month there were no fewer than five auctions in the latest round of selling from Hermann Historica. So here’s a look at the Oriental and Firearms sale, starting with a long, Ottoman, silver-mounted shotgun, c. 1800. Featuring a smooth, octagonal barrel with a cannon, faceted muzzle in 16mm calibre. Lightly engraved flintlock, lock gear tired. Full stock with rich silver wire inlays and silver furniture and thumb plate in relief. Length 172cm. It sold for €2,500.
One of the highlights was a deluxe pair of Balkan Turkish gold-inlaid and silver-mounted flintlock pistols, 19th century. Both with a long barrel with smooth bore in 15mm calibre, approximately two thirds of the upper surface adorned with gold floral inlays and Kufi inscriptions. The iron flintlocks elaborately engraved with fine scrolling leaves. Length 55.5cm each, the lot sold for €18,750.
Almost as popular was a bone-inlaid wheellock rifle by Peter Danner, Nuremberg, c. 1580. Peter Danner was documented as a gunsmith in Nuremberg between 1583 and 1602. The gun featured a narrow, octagonal barrel, alternating fullers near the muzzle. Smooth bore in 14mm calibre. Dovetailed brass sights. The mark ‘PD’ and two serpents struck at the breech, along with the Nuremberg proof mark and intertwined mark ‘NE’. The lock fitted with an external wheel, safety lever and spring-lock pan cover. Openwork wheel cover, finely engraved cock and lever. Depiction of maritime mythical creatures, a Nuremberg mermaid on the cheek piece. Length 113.5cm. A superlative Nuremberg wheellock rifle in almost mint, untouched condition. It sold for €12,500.
Here's another interesting item from Nuremberg, c. 1590. It’s a rare mortar-wheellock pistol with a bronze barrel, set off by balusters, the minimised breech adorned with figurative engravings. Floral decoration engraved above the muzzle and the barrel. The lock plate with Nuremberg acceptance mark and the initials ‘GH’ above a lion's head (Stöckel No. 2604). The smooth walnut stock inlaid with plaques in mother-of-pearl, lavishly adorned with figurative engravings and ornamental brass wire. Length 48cm. It sold for €17,500.
Finally, let’s finish with a deluxe Dreyse needlefire revolver, with safety lever, c. 1865. Slightly rough, pitted in places, rifled octagonal barrel, length 100mm, front sight inserted on top, rear sight on the frame bridge. Six-shot drum, double action. Safety lever on the left of the cylinder sleeve. Barrel attachment, frame and trigger guard with tendril engraving on the left, number on the frame bridge manufacturer ‘v. Dreyse Sömmerda’. Length 28cm. It sold for €4,000. ■