While antique oak pedestal desks and Victorian dining chairs come up at Lancashire auctions on a regular basis, rare American firearms are far less likely.
Nonetheless, on 30th August a rare 19th Century US Navy revolver, stamped Walch Firearms Co. New York, will be going under the hammer at a sale in Clitheroe, Lancashire, with an estimate of £7000 – £10,000.
The gun is all the more rare because of its unusual design. A 0.36 calibre 12-shot percussion model, with a six inch octagonal barrel, it is a modified version of a normal 6-shot revolver, with double-charged cylinders to increase the number of rounds that could be fired from a standard 6-shot mechanism. To this end, the gun also has two sets of nipples fired by twin hammers and triggers. It also has a Navy Colt-style hinged rammer and single front sight. Patented in 1859, the complex firing arrangement was not a success and it ceased production in 1862. While antique firearms turn up regularly on US antique shows, even the American Pickers would have a hard time tracking this one down, as only around 200 were ever made.
Rather than being placed in a specialist Arms and Armour sale, the gun is being sold through a bi-monthly auction of general antiques and collectibles, which range from Victorian pill-rollers to antique desks and other fine furniture. However, it should be remembered that both buying and selling antiques through salerooms incurs extra charges, so if you want an antique cabinet for your Lancashire collection military antiques, or have a decommissioned Victorian pistol you want to sell, it is best to visit an antique dealer.
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