A fine pair of French .45 calibre percussion target pistols by Labbe of Niort. Circa 1839-1855. The gun-makers name engraved on the lock-plates and inlaid in gold- LABBE. ARQer A. NIORT amidst decorative scrolling. Labbe had a workshop in the French town of Niort and worked circa 1839-1855. Decorative engraved hammers and spurred trigger guards. 9.5 inch octagonal barrels fitted with blade fore-sights. Silver oval escutcheons to each side of the stock. Gold inlay to both locks is in good condition. Stocks are in good condition with crisp checkering and only minor marks. Actions are crisp. Bores with rifled barrels. Finely chequered wooden grips terminating in a flared pommel with engraved iron pommel caps. Octagonal shield shaped escutcheons to the grips. Adjustable set triggers. Fan shaped decoration to the end of the stocks. Although shooting matches employing early firearms were held, along with archery competitions as early as the second half of the fifteenth century, it was not until the sixteenth century when the sport of target shooting gained popularity, initially in Germany and then in other nations of Western and Central Europe. Archery societies evolved into shooting clubs that held regularly scheduled competitions often coinciding with religious holidays. Monetary prizes were sometimes awarded to winners. The European custom of holding shooting matches alongside other festivities was eventually brought to the New World where target practice with firearms was already a common pastime. During the early 1800s, firearms were further improved by the introduction of the percussion cap ignition mechanism. Actions both in good working order. A few minor dings and scratches otherwise in overall very good condition. A fine example of a pair of French percussion target pistols by a know maker. Ref 3898.
This is an obsolete antique pistol and is sold as a collectors item only.
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