Original German 18th Century City of Nuremberg Jailer's Key Gun with Lock

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. As seen on History Channel's Pawn Stars, this is exceptionally rare as only a handful of examples are known to exist. Watch IMA's own antique gun expert Alex evaluate and shoot this key pistol on History Channel's Pawn Stars:

Key pistols were used between the 17th century through the mid 19th century and are quite rare. The intended use was for jailers for self-defense and for sounding an alarm. The idea being that the jailer could use the same object to open the cell door and also defend himself in the event that prisoners tried to escape or attack. However, jailer's were not the only users of key guns. Armories and banks also have recorded use of these devices. The earliest key guns were quite primitive, but over time progressed to flintlock versions and percussion cap styles. Very few genuine key-guns remain today and typically have no associated lock.

This example which dated from the 18th century is manufactured from iron and features a well crafted flintlock mechanism with dog lock safety. The key measures 8 inches in overall length and the caliber is approximately .38". Behind the cock is a marking which appears to be an eagle with letter N. We believe this is the Wappen or Coat of Arms for the old German city of Nürnberg, in modern-day Nuremberg. The key pistol is offered in excellent functional condition.

Amazingly, this key also has a matched functional iron padlock. This style of lock is known as a "sliding hasp gate lock" and was a common style for securing doors in the 17th and 18th centuries. The hasp which hinges on the slide bar at the top of the lock can be removed when the bolt within the body of the lock is drawn back by the key. This type of lock would be employed by passing the slide bar through staples or eyes on a pair of doors or a single door and the jamb. Lock measures 13" long by 7" high.

Years of Manufacture: 18th Century
Caliber: .38"
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 8 inches
Action: Flintlock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

NOTE: International orders of antique firearms MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services (courier). USPS Priority Mail international will not accept these.

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