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Item #21521

Saxon Flintlock Pheasant Gun Smithsonian Book Published

  • Price: $3,995.00
  • Maker: Italian
  • Model: Flintlock
  • Caliber: .64 Cal

  • Description: This handsome arm is a recently published gun that is lavishly illustrated in three separate areas of the new Smithsonian book, "Firearms - An Illustrated History"; 2014. The bore is approximately .64 caliber, 41 3/4" part octagon barrel with a fine, lightly spotted smooth bore. This is a graceful and handsome arm (57 1/8" O.A.L.) that retains about 50-60% of the original frosty blue finish along the barrel and nearly all of the original gold floral accented inlays at the octagonal breech and transition to round. The remainder of the barrel has aged to a smooth dark gray patina over time with darker gray in the protected areas, most noticeably within the decorative turning at the transition and the engraved tang. The top flat has four deeply struck gold-filled stars surmounting a crowned barrel maker cartouche ("FR.CO/PARA/DELA") and Maltese cross with superimposed dove in flight as well as a gold-bordered touch hole. The lock has a flowing swan-necked cock and faceted pan and frizzen with delicate scrollwork engraving and a beveled lockplate with wildlife motif and "I.G. ERTTEL/A DRESDE" maker's name. The remaining metal furniture has neo-classical motifs with a mixed gray and plum-brown patina, heaviest on the triggerguard bow and tangs which exhibit minor freckling as well. The European walnut stock has decorative relief carved borders and numerous minor handling marks and blemishes under a thick added varnish finish with a skillfully effected old repair about midway down the forend. There are some small with-the-grain cracks at the tip of the forend and the original ramrod has a trumpet-shaped horn tip. The mechanism is still tight, functioning flawlessly, and the extremely rare original red flannel covered bore protector is included. Johann Georg Erttel (or Ertel) was born in 1700 and was the brother of master gunmaker Johann Andreas Erttel (1689-1764) of Dresden, Saxony. He became a master in his own right in 1724 and remained in Dresden; working for a time with his identically named son, who eventually moved on to ply his trade as a master gunmaker in Amsterdam (pg. 345, "Heer Der Neue St'ckel" Vol. 1; 1978). Francisco Paradela (?-ca. 1742) was one of the barrel makers appointed to Phillip V, first Bourbon king of Spain (1683-1746) who is known to have given at least two other Paradela marked barrels to Freidrich Augustus I, Elector of Saxony as gifts. Freidrich is probably the customer who commissioned this gun using one of his presented barrels (he had converted to Catholicism in 1697 and this no doubt spurred Phillip's largesse). Examples of Paradela's work can still be seen at the Real Armer'a de Madrid (Spanish Royal Armory). As a further note of interest, a listing in a 1920 Rudolph Lepke auction catalog of Saxon fine art and weaponry lists a nearly identical gun, also by Johann Georg Erttel, but using a gold embellished Italian barrel by Sicurani-Corset of Rome instead. This is a beautiful and historic gun that embodies the best 18th century European craftsmanship and would be a worthy addition to any collection. Antique