T. Poltz dueling pistol

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

tucson

32 Cal
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Hello all!

I am interested in finding more information on this pistol of mine. The flintlock was made by Thaddeus Poltz, and is signed as such. It was made c. 1770 in Carlsbad, Bohemia (Austria). This is #2 of a matched set of dueling pistols. Has anyone come across this pistol before? Also, has this been refinished?

I think all of this was handmade, or in the case of the embossing, hand finished. The barrel, and the embossing have a nice patina with traces of bluing left, giving the barrel a "mottled" appearance, BTW I see this is the place to learn about the flintlock firearm.

Thank you!

Bob

PS Please excuse the legs. :)

2C2F3B29-F73E-45A8-9E12-7B8B0E304CD8.jpeg2866F5B8-561B-48D2-8525-05F92789C388.jpegC2DAAD57-B31B-4514-A3D1-984A1DA11420.jpeg

61305340-9FC5-4292-8925-DC771CC29564.jpeg8918D369-E576-4620-972C-BBD833659A22.jpeg
 
Last edited:

dave_person

54 Cal.
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
2,788
Reaction score
988
Hi,
I'll have to look at more of my references for Poltz. What you need is someone with a copy of "Der Neue Stockel". There is no reason to assume it was a dueling pistol just because it appears as one of a pair. Most horse pistols, traveling pistols, over coat pistols etc. were sold in pairs.

dave
 

TFoley

62 Cal.
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
3,658
Reaction score
337
It's a lovely piece, but I don't believe it to be a duelling pistol, but one of a pair of travelling pistols. Duelling pistols were always were VERY plain - the money was in the action and the barrel, not the ornamentation. BTW, Bohemia is not Austria but present-day Czech Republic - in a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings. Bohemia was never part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
 

TFoley

62 Cal.
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
3,658
Reaction score
337
FYI - here is a list of most of the gunmakers of that era and later who flourished in Bohemia -

Bartl, Joseph-Weipert

Bittner, Gustav- Weipert

Bittner, Josef- Weipert

Diemelt, Anton- Weipert


Fückert, Ferdinand- Weipert

Fückert, Gustav- Weipert

Gahlert, Alfred- Weipert

Gahlert, Paul- Weipert

Gahlert, Vinzenz (Vincent)- Weipert

Haberda, Johann- Frauenberg

Hoffman, Josef Jr.- Weipert

Hvezda Sohn- Leitmeritz


Kreibich, Franz- Haida

Lebeda’s A. V. Söhne- Prag

Morgenstern, Wenzel & Sohn- Weipert

Nowotny, Johann- Prag

Ritter, Josef- Weipert

Schmidl, Eduard- Weipert

Schmidl, Norbert- Weipert

Templer, Johann- Böhm-Leipa

Thiele, Rudolf- Weipert

Thiele, Xaver- Weipert
 

TFoley

62 Cal.
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
3,658
Reaction score
337
More - 'Before there was a Czech Republic, before there was a Czechoslovakia, there were two largely Czech-speaking provinces in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bohemia and Moravia, remnants of the Kingdom of Bohemia that was conquered by Austria in 1620. Even then, there were a mix of Czech- and German-speaking people in those lands, commons and nobles alike. (The nobles and commercial guildsmen were more likely to be German-speakers). And even earlier than that these Czechs and Germans of Bohemia had mastered steelwork and the fine art of gunsmithing.

Every location has a pair of names (and sometimes a third, in English): Bohemia is Cechy in Czech and Böhmen in German, and Moravia is Morava and Mähren respectively. Likewise, every town has at least two names, a Czech one like Praha, Plzen, or Brno, and a German one, Prag, Pilsen, Brünn....guns were made in Karlovy Vary, in Czech, as the city is known today; but in the Habsburg days it was more commonly called Carlsbad, and then and now it was an industrial city.'
 

DBrevit

40 Cal
Joined
Mar 6, 2020
Messages
184
Reaction score
86
Location
NC
From what I've seen, most dueling pistol sets were not numbered, plain as to be indistinguishable from each other (as in, pick one), would have to do more research but I have seen others and they had makers name and city on the lock. Look like it was refinished some time ago but then again I'm looking at a set of pictures on a forum.
 

dave_person

54 Cal.
Joined
Nov 26, 2005
Messages
2,788
Reaction score
988
Hi,
From what I've seen, most dueling pistol sets were not numbered, plain as to be indistinguishable from each other (as in, pick one), would have to do more research but I have seen others and they had makers name and city on the lock. Look like it was refinished some time ago but then again I'm looking at a set of pictures on a forum.
Don't confuse continental European fashions with British fashions. The British idea of plain but technically perfect dueling pistols was not the European tradition in which those pistols often were much more highly decorated. Yes, as far as I know, duelers were not numbered.

dave
 

tucson

32 Cal
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Amazing! Thank you very much, guys!

I have Renaissance Wax on it, which was unnecessary. That it why it shines. I can make minute scratches on the finish. Also the finish shows indentations where it has been banged up some. A couple of the indentations show bruised wood underneath. So I do not think it is polyurethane, varnish, or even shelac. I am thinking of a type of lacquer. I do not think it is wax. But then what do I know?

I think it is worth something just as a work of art. I think it is very hard to find a flintlock in very good condition like this, where everything is still intact, including the intricate design carvings. It does not appear to have been sanded much at all for the new finish. I find this interesting.

I am thinking of taking the wax coating off of it for a closer look at the finish. I can use for this diluted isopropyl alcohol, otherwise known as rubbing alcohol over here in the States. I wonder if the yellow hue is from the wood, or the finish? This may help tell me what was used for the finish. I think originally it had an oil finish.

@TFoley Thanks for the list. You must have some good reference books to go by for this information. I collect Colt percussion pistols. My references are extensive.
 
Last edited:

tucson

32 Cal
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
@dave_person Do you mean "Heer Der Neue Stockel Journal - Verlag 1, 2, 3?

Since it has been refinished, it may not actually be worth much.


Here are some more pictures:

90EE9353-9010-4A2F-8BE9-860BBA65981E.jpeg5DEA091E-EDBA-4788-8917-B3822903A01B.jpegC5FDD978-D7DC-4242-9CA2-FAEB0BB885AE.jpeg356D783B-D16A-4D2D-ADAB-BED48D32B3C5.jpegB9CB0B81-10FC-45FC-A98C-1EE2AE0B5491.jpeg
 
Last edited:

rickystl

58 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
2,430
Reaction score
192
Hi Tucson

That is a nice looking pistol. Love that tapered, yet wide grip shape. I notice the lock lacks the arm connecting the pan to the frizzen. An earlier feature. The overall size of the pistol looks typical for the period. From your last photos in what appears to be different lighting, it does not look like it has been refinished to my eye. If so, possibly a long time ago. But there are others on this Forum that are better with wood/finishes that could better detect this. IMHO there is nothing wrong with using Ren-Wax. I've never found it to harm anything I've used it on. But, it only takes a thin coating to work. A little goes a long ways.
I've read that officers during the period would often commission a private gunsmith to make a pistol(s) for their own personal use. Often in pairs. They could be plain, or more decorated such as yours. I guess it would just depend on the owner's preference and budget. Yes, the #2 on the barrel tang likely means it has (had) a twin brother at some point. Maybe still running around Europe somewhere. LOL
Here is a European (Dutch I think ?) pistol, large horse/saddle size. It also has the #2 engraved at the rear of the breech on this one. So it too, likely has (had) a twin brother at some point.
Short Story: A collector friend owned a pistol similar to our discussion. His had a number 1 on the barrel tang. As only fate would have it, the twin brother, with the #2 engraved on the tang turned up at an auction - some 15 years latter !! LOL What are the chances ?? LOL Now he has both.
Again, congratulations. Great looking pistol.

RickDSC00701 (Medium).JPGDSC00706 (Medium).JPG
 

tucson

32 Cal
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Hi Tucson

That is a nice looking pistol. Love that tapered, yet wide grip shape. I notice the lock lacks the arm connecting the pan to the frizzen. An earlier feature. The overall size of the pistol looks typical for the period.
This was the first purchase I made in my excursion into antique firearms. I did not have a clue, other than seeing the artistic value of the flintlock. Now, what is the "pan", and "frizzen"?

From your last photos in what appears to be different lighting, it does not look like it has been refinished to my eye. If so, possibly a long time ago. But there are others on this Forum that are better with wood/finishes that could better detect this.
I know that whatever finish is on this pistol, original or not, was well done. I am thinking that if the finish is not original, but was done long enough ago, the value will not take as much of a hit. The finish did preserve the pistol exceptionally well, including the intricate artwork. Since it is difficult to find a flintlock in this type of condition, which is very fine, this must be worth a few points toward the value of this pistol. BTW I am not selling, for the actual value of this firearn will probably be much less than its value to me,

IMHO there is nothing wrong with using Ren-Wax. I've never found it to harm anything I've used it on. But, it only takes a thin coating to work. A little goes a long ways.
I will make a note if this.

I've read that officers during the period would often commission a private gunsmith to make a pistol(s) for their own personal use. Often in pairs. They could be plain, or more decorated such as yours. I guess it would just depend on the owner's preference and budget. Yes, the #2 on the barrel tang likely means it has (had) a twin brother at some point. Maybe still running around Europe somewhere. LOL
Interesting stuff. This one pistol has uncovered allot about it and its history thanks to people here such as yourself.

[snip]

Short Story: A collector friend owned a pistol similar to our discussion. His had a number 1 on the barrel tang. As only fate would have it, the twin brother, with the #2 engraved on the tang turned up at an auction - some 15 years latter !! LOL What are the chances ?? LOL Now he has both.
Again, congratulations. Great looking pistol.

Rick
Terrific story. Maybe one of these days, I will come across pistol #1? I like this maker's work, so I will be looking for his other works too. I would like to get a rifle made by T. Poltz.

Tucson
 

tucson

32 Cal
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
@TFoley I heard about the laws severely restricting ownership of firearms there in the UK. I would think that antique firearms would be an exception, but I guess not.

I have a question regarding the finish on my pistol here. It has been dinged up some, for I can see the little indentations on the finish. There are a few more obvious ones, where a couple actually have discolored, bruised wood underneath. Very little marks can be made on it with my fingernail. Also, it is more of a satin finish than a shiny surface.

Now given all of the above, what are the possible finishes? I do not think varnish. A type of more recently available synthetic? Lacquer? Older lacquer was made up of shellac and alcohol from what I understand. There are a more variety of current day lacquers available. I do not think shellac. Certainly not wax? Definitely not an oil finish. What other type of finishes are there?

I found a band on the rammer of what appears to be a different finish. It is shiny and brings out the reddish hues of the wood. It does not match at all the finish elsewhere on the pistol. I am thinking varnish. I think this was done at a later time when the rammer assembly was repaired. So first the finish was applied. Then at a (much) later time, the rammer was repaired.

Interesting stuff here! Any guesses?

Tucson
 
Last edited:

tucson

32 Cal
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
@rickystl I forgot to ask you about that nice looking pistol of yours. It looks to have the same finish as mine. What type of finish is on your pistol?
 

TFoley

62 Cal.
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
3,658
Reaction score
337
@TFoley I heard about the laws severely restricting ownership of firearms there in the UK. I would think that antique firearms would be an exception, but I guess not.
You are right about the law about antiques, you CAN have as many as you can afford, however, in my particular case personal poverty plays a large part in limiting so-called collections here. :)
 

tucson

32 Cal
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
You are right about the law about antiques, you CAN have as many as you can afford, however, in my particular case personal poverty plays a large part in limiting so-called collections here. :)
I understand. I am heavily into debt right now, so no more antique purchases for me. :(
 
Top