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Title Balkan flintlock pistol
Nationality Serbian
Period 1810

This brass-stocked weapon's barrel has conventional arabesque silver-inlay on a russet ground, with the Muslim year date 1190 inlaid in silver towards the muzzle. A double eagle is cast into the wrist of the gun at the back of the barrel tang.

These weapons were carried and used all over the Balkans, especially in Albania, by bandits right into the end of the 19th century.

The combination of a Muslim year date on the barrel and the double eagle on the stock suggests a Muslim gunsmith (Bosnian or Albanian) making a weapon for a client in Montenegro or Serbia, the double eagle being a specifically Christian Balkan emblem, harking back to the Byzantine Empire's eagle, which looked east and west. It may be that, hidden among the silver decoration (which needs cleaning) on the barrel, is the gunsmith's signature.

The date is confirmed by the flintlock mechanism of the French style, which was introduced at this point and gradually replaced the Miquelet lock.

The condition is good for its age and the action is still quite crisp, although it could do with a little oiling. Most of the silver inlay of the barrel is still present. The ramrod would have been carried separately. The barrel, typically, is fairly rusty inside and could do with a good scrub out with a wire mop. The gun is an unusual size (normally they are bigger): the barrel is 22.5 cms. The total length of the gun is 38 cms.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Firearms : Flintlock Pistols : Serbian : 19th Century]


Very pleased with the cavalry sword, a very unusual piece.

S G, UK, 17.08.2018

The bayonet arrived at 8.00 this morning! It's excellent, just what I was after and I'm well pleased with it!

S A, UK, 16.05.2006