Original Spanish Decorated Small Miquelet Belt Pistol by Ewald Camps and Torrento c. 1785
Original Item: Only One Available. This is an impressive example of a late 18th century Spanish Small Miquelet belt pistol, clearly owned by someone of some wealth. It is marked with proofs in GOLD along the top of the the half octagonal and half round 6" long barrel which is also decorated with engravings elsewhere. The Caliber is approximately .67", a standard size for Officer's, and it measures 11 inches in overall length.
This lovely pistol features all brass mounts, which are all heavily engraved, and look like they were all originally gilt or plated with some other gold-like metal. There is a small belt hook on the left side, which also functions as the pistols side plate. The very elegant walnut wood stock has some wonderful engravings, and there is what looks to be a nickel escutcheon on the back of the wrist, which bears a family crest of some sort. We were unfortunately not able to identify it.
The beautifully made lock is made in the best Spanish Miquelet tradition. with an engraved hammer and pan. The miquelet lock has a functional half cock position, which is linked to the trigger. The lock fires from full cock, and the frizzen is intact and functional. It comes with its dark wood or horn ramrod, which is in excellent condition. The barrel has a Cartouche over the breech in GOLD displaying the Maker's information, though it is somewhat unclear. There is also a lock maker's cartouche on the front of the frizzen as well, but it is not entirely clear. Over time the gold can detach from the steel, making the stamp unclear.
Per a tag included with the pistol, it was examined by Dr. Lavin, Professor of Spanish History at William and Mary for identification. He identified these makers as Ewald Cams on the top of the barrel, and Torrento on the lock frizzen.
It is very rare to find one of these pistols in such fine condition. Truly magnificent and ready to research and display!
History of the Miquelet Lock:
Miquelet lock is a modern term used by collectors and curators, largely in the English-speaking world, for a type of firing mechanism used in muskets
and pistols. It is a distinctive form of snaplock, originally as a flint-against-steel ignition form, once prevalent in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Balkans, North Africa, Ottoman Empire and throughout Spain's colonies from the late 16th to the mid 19th centuries.
The term miquelet lock was not recorded until the 19th century, long after the appearance of the mechanism in the 16th century, and is of uncertain origin. One commonly held view is that it was coined by British troops in the Peninsular War to describe the style of musket used by the Miquelet (militia) that had been assigned to the Peninsular Army of the Duke of Wellington.
Year of Manufacture: c. 1785
Caliber: approx. .67" Pistol
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 6 inches
Overall Length: 11 inches
Action: Miquelet Flint Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded
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