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Pair of Dueling Pistols by Chalet & Gonon in case

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Pair of Dueling Pistols by Chalet & Gonon in case

- Item No.

This is an exceptional cased pair of 45 caliber dueling and target pistols by Chalet and Gonon

Key Features

  • The rare pair of dueling and target pistols were crafted by Chalet & Gonon
  • Still in its original, lined case, this set of pistols is remarkable in that it is complete
  • These pistols are unusual in that they have adjustable rear sights
  • Ebony half stocks and engraved plates complete this masterful design
  • Feature gold monogram ''HDB, and Chalet and Gonon St. Etienne in gold inlay on the lock plates
  • Circa 1860

Item Details

  • Width:
    Case: 20 3/4 Inches
  • Height:
    Case: 2 5/8 Inches
  • Depth:
    Case: 12 13/16 Inches
  • Period:
    19th Century
  • Origin:
The exceptional cased pair of 45 caliber dueling and target pistols by Chalet and Gonon calls to mind the era of gentlemanly disputes. As beautiful as they are deadly, these percussion cap pistols are superbly crafted with adjustable rear sights, an unusual feature during this period. Octagonal rifled barrels measuring 10 1/2 inches are held within beautifully carved ebony half stocks, which are adorned with an oak leaf motif. Fluted grips are capped with pewter plates, and the locks, hammers, trigger guards and trigger plates boast engraved spiraling vine decorations. Accompanied by all the tools needed to keep them in perfect working order, and even to make ball shot, these exquisite firearms are held within their original velour-lined and burl wood veneered case. It is extremely rare to find complete sets of target or dueling pistols, particularly those of such exceptional quality and condition. Chalet and Conon crafted top quality French duelers and these pistols are no exception. This set is truly a masterpiece of French gun smithing.

The trigger guards have gold monogram ''HDB'' and script design; lock plates are marked ''Chalet and Gonon St. Etienne" in gold inlay

Circa 1860

Case: 20 3/4" wide x 12 13/16" deep x 2 5/8" high

In the 1770s, gunsmiths, chiefly in England and France, began to produce purpose-built dueling pistols. These were usually made as "cased pairs" -two identical pistols in a box with powder flasks, bullet molds, and other accessories. Many pistols were made with the flintlock mechanism, but this system had a great deal of deficiencies, including a vulnerability to weather and a significant delay between the trigger pull and actual firing of the gun. By 1815, gunsmiths were switching to the percussion-cap system, which proved to be much more reliable and less prone to misfire.

Dueling was a privilege accorded to the upper class. Gentlemen were expected to defend their honor and duels were conducted with exquisite politeness. Dueling as we know it developed in southern France during the Renaissance, and flourished in Europe and North America in the 18th century. In the mid-1700s, the traditional dueling weapon, the sword, fell out of fashion, to be replaced by the pistol. There were detailed guidelines for the conducting of duels, the most notable being the Rules and Articles of War, which governed not only how countries would interact when in conflict, but also an officer's behavior. Not behaving as a gentleman meant a loss of social standing.

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Price: $34,500
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