Antique Turkish Flintlock Pistols
Antique Turkish Flintlock Pistols are original weapons used by the military of the Ottoman Empire.
History and Description
Turkish flintlock pistols were a mainstay of the military of the Ottoman Empire from the 17th century until they were superseded by pistols using the percussion lock system in the 19th century.
They suffered many drawbacks in use, being slow to load, sometimes firing before the user had taken aim ("going off half-cocked") and prone to causing serious injury to the user by igniting in the barrel on firing (the "flash in the pan".)
Inaccurate to a degree unless the user was familiar with the particular pistol, they tended to be produced for, and used by, individual combatants rather than issued en masse, and many pistols are highly personalised.
Guide For Collectors
There are dealers who specialise in antique weaponry, such as the Ambrose Antiques website, a very informative site which offers Turkish flintlock pistols for sale with full descriptions of the items.
It is important to verify the origins of the pistol. During the time of peak usage, similar weapons were used by the Greeks, and others in the Mediterranean region.
Many pistols carry etched designs on the stock, and it is useful to know that those produced within the Ottoman Empire for use by Turks show designs reflecting motifs frequently used in Islamic art of the period, whereas those made and used by Greeks show designs found in other forms of southern European metalwork.
Christie's sold a single pistol in 2009 for 14,394.00 for a silver nielloed version -http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/arms-armor/a-greek-flintlock-holster-pistol-stocked-in-5211705-details.aspx
Icollector.com sold a pair of these in 2009 for around 14,000.00( with auction fees) http://www.icollector.com/Pair-of-Balkan-Flintlock-Pistols_i8494058
A good example is worth $5000.00-$7000.00 as sold by Icollector, Cowans auctions and Bonhams.
In April 2012 a Turkish Flintlock Horsemans pistol in excellent condition, circa 1810, approximate length 22cm was offered for sale by Collectors Firearms for the price of $2,495.00.
Also offered for sale April 2012 by Collectors Firarms for the price of $15,750.00 was a pair of embellished Turkish Flintlock Pistols, approximate length 16 inches, made in France and inlaid with silver wire and coral.
In April 2012 a silver-mounted Turkish flintlock holster pistol, circa 1800, 20 inches long, engraved with floral scrolls, with ebony stock, carrying some marks of handling and deeply embossed was offered for sale by Ambrose Antiques for the price of $2,775.00