Original French Late Victorian Era “Steampunk” Style Brass Barreled Dart Pistol in Leather Covered Storage Case

Item Description

Original Item: One of a Kind. Steampunk fans, this is your chance!!! Looking like it came straight out of a Jules Verne novel is this brass barreled dart pistol, complete with two original darts! We have never seen or heard of anything like this before, and really do not know what its intended purpose was. We have seen these before on the market, and their origin has always been a bit of a mystery. It is powered by a large internal coil spring and the pistol has an elaborate trigger system, which releases the dart once it is loaded and the spring put under tension.

The spring housing at the rear of the barrel twists and pulls back, and when a dart is loaded, pushing it forward tensions the spring, which is then twisted to lock back in place. Pulling the trigger releases the dart. We tried to get it to function, but were only partly successful, and we suspect these were more novelties of the era than an actual attempt to make a functional item. One of many Victorian curiosities marketed in stores at the time. It measures approximately 16 inches in overall length.

The pistol is housed in a lovely leather covered wood box decorated with Fleur de Lis motifs, which measures approximately 16” x 7” x 6”, with a latch on the front. This not only contains the "STEAMPUNK" Pistol, but two all steel "darts" which we assume to be the projectiles. These can also be stored in the tubes under the barrels, where the darts are held in place by a metal rotating lid.

A fascinating antique "JULES VERNE" type item from the last decade of the Victorian era. Fascinating and totally bizarre!

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