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Sale 1070 Lot 97 Jan 06 2012 10:00 AM              Sold for $9,400

Marked with a crowned "AF", probably Belgium, mid 19th century. Approximately .47 caliber, six-shot cylinder, 6" octagonal barrel, elaborate engraving, gilt finish, and carved ebony grips. In a rosewood case with brass plaques reading "General Brice" and "M.s. S.F. Durgold" (or "Purgold") and including ebony and ivory tools and pinfire cartridges.

Benjamin Brice (1809-1892) was born in what is now Harrison County, West Virginia, attended West Point, and served in the Black Hawk War before returning to civilian life as a lawyer in Licking County, Ohio. In 1846, he as appointed an adjutant general of the Ohio militia, but resigned to re-enlist in the US Army during the Mexican War. It was then he began his career as a military paymaster, ultimately overseeing all military payroll during and after the Civil War. Brice is credited with modernizing military pay in the later years of the Civil War.

This pair of pinfires are discussed in the November 1961 issue of The Gun Report (copies of which are included with the lot), having been found in an antique shop in Pittsburgh by the article's author, Ralph Frederick. When Frederick purchased the pair, the brass plaque reading "M.s. S.F. Durgold" was affixed overtop the Brice plaque (the weld scar is still visible). No information has ever been found on Durgold (or Purgold), and it is not known why his plaque was placed on top of Brice's.
Estimate $ 5,000-10,000

Guns are in fine condition with 95+% of their original gilt and original finish on the grips, smooth actions. Case with older finish and some age cracks; tools appear original, cartridges compartments are not completely full. Additional documentation is included.
Matching Sn. 925.

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