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Old 02-29-2012, 07:47 PM
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Default The first pocket pistol, sort of.....

Picked up this little gem along with a few others a few days ago. It was found in an old house that was being torn down. After a little cleaning, this is what it turned out to be.The only writing I can find on it says Deringer with Philadelphia wrote under that. A very small gun that looks to be in about a 36ish cal. Does anyone on the forum know anything about these types of guns? Do they have much value? Here is some pics.



Last edited by s&wchad; 03-01-2012 at 08:24 AM. Reason: fix photo layout
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:19 PM
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Spelled with ONE (R) and being from Philly you may have a gem. Most of the fakes were spelled with TWO (R's) Spend the money and have it appraised.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:53 PM
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Looks like one of Henry's Philadelphia Derringers to me. Some type used to shoot Lincoln.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:57 PM
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It is spelled with one "R". One small problem with me living way down here in the sticks is, there ain't nowhere for me to take it to be appraised.I have to do all my research on the web or try to find it in a book. I have another item that came with the gun that I believe to be something "rare". I'll post a pic and see if anyone can identify it to be what I think it is. It's something you don't see everyday, well I don't anyway.



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Old 02-29-2012, 09:03 PM
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That is what is called an Eprouvette (spelling?). It is a black powder tester. Back in its day different batches of black powder weren't necessarily all of the same power. This device allow powder to be tested for "burn rate".
They are fairly scarce, but I have no idea of value.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:11 PM
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We have a winner, that's what I had it figured out to be. I didn't have a pic to go by just a description in a book. I hope someone can provide a little more info on these items. I have a couple more guns that came in this deal but they are soaking in some Ed's Red and won't be ready for pics anytime soon.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:00 PM
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I thought when I saw the tester, that it was an early grill
lighter. The reality is way better than my guess. TACC1
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:08 PM
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That is one great find. Those were pretty common in the day and there should be plenty of info out there to research it. It appears to be in pretty nice condition. If only it could talk.

"I thought when I saw the tester, that it was an early grill
lighter."
You were closer than me. I thought it was a flintlock powered sun dial.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:09 PM
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Don't over clean them.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosedog View Post
That is one great find. Those were pretty common in the day and there should be plenty of info out there to research it. It appears to be in pretty nice condition. If only it could talk.

"I thought when I saw the tester, that it was an early grill
lighter."
You were closer than me. I thought it was a flintlock powered sun dial.
I was thinking early Philly Powder Powered Pizza cutter.

Or Fourpy Brand can opener.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
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Don't over clean them.
It really doesn't take much cleaning to reduce the value to *paper weight*.

It may well be worth your trouble to find an appraiser and take a vacation to where ever he (or she ) is.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:33 AM
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Combat:

You may not have to travel to see a qualified appraiser. You already have some good photos of your items. I'd suggest contacting one of the more reputable auction houses, such as Sotheby's, or Christie's, and get their opinion(s). As an example, my late Mom had some Chinese art work she knew was valuable, but she didn't know how valuable, and she lived out beyond the sticks. In the days before the internet and digital photography, she contacted Sotheby's by phone and spoke with the appraisers. I don't know all of the details, but I do know Sotheby's sent an appraiser on their dime, he visited my Mom at her home (by appointment), and made her an offer to buy. When she asked how she would be able to ship the art work to New York, she said the buyer (politely) laughed and said he would take care of that. When she asked for details, the appraiser said he was trained, and equipped to handle the safe shipment of the art, and that she wouldn't have to worry about it as she would have her payment in hand before he took possession of her artwork. I don't know how much money she made from the sale, but I think it was quite a bit. Surprisingly, some other art she had, and thought was valuable, wasn't due to condition, etc.

Bottom line, seek expert advice. It's much easier now than it was for my poor Mom, and it will help you decide what options you have available to you. Best of all, it will help prevent the dreaded: "coulda, shoulda, woulda".

Best of luck, please let us know how this turns out.

Regards,

Dave
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