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Madrid Style, Miquelet Lock, Holster Pistol
Barrel by Pedro A. Esteva, c1730
Holster pistols are also known as horse pistols. These long and heavy weapons were made for use on horseback. They usually came in pairs along with connected holsters designed to be draped over the pommel of a saddle. The style originated in France during the latter half of the 17th century. By the early 18th century holster pistols were in wide use throughout Continental Europe and in England (1).

The Madrid style Miquelet lock began to appear in the late 17th century. The contemporary name for the style was "llave a la moda" (lock to fashion). The lock is French in appearance, but Spanish in operation. Unlike the traditional Miquelet lock known as the "patilla", the mainspring is mounted behind the lock-plate in the stock, but you can easily see where the horizontal sears engage the small projection on the breast and rear of the hammer (2).

Type: Holster Pistol
Style: Miquelet, llave a la moda
aka Madrid style
Country: Spain
Overall Length: 16 inches
Barrel Length: 9 inches
Weight: 2 lb
Bore Diameter: .655 inches, Smooth
Stock: Walnut, Ball & Cheek Style
Detailed Description
The swamped barrel is octagonal at the breech with silver inlays consisting of flowers, crosses, and dots. It has well-worn, gold-lined makers marks (punzon) that appear to belong to Pedro Esteva (5). The counter-mark is the Barcelona coat-of-arms. Most of the gold lining on the marks has worn away and some of the silver inlays are missing. The barrel tang is engraved with a floral design. The waist section has one large ring with a border of two narrow rings followed by a chiseled design where the barrel transitions to round. The barrel is pinned to a full walnut stock with raised relief around the tang and a floral design behind it. The stock has some damage on one side near the muzzle and beside the tang. There are two brass ramrod pipes with chiseled rings and simple patterns. The ramrod is not the original. The barrel, lock-plate, side-plate, and brass ramrod pipes are all surrounded by raised relief on the stock. There is a empty brass escutcheon surrounded by scrolls and floral patterns. The stock has a ball & cheek style butt with long spurs. The butt is cast and chiseled in brass with scrolls, foliage, and simple patterns. Its pommel has a cherub style portrait. The Madrid style lock`s plate and cock are engraved with floral patterns. There is no makers mark on the lock, but the design is typical of the Deop family of makers. The side-plate and trigger guard are of cast brass, with foliage and simple patterns.

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Pedro Esteva / Esteban
Pedro A. Esteva (c1680-1740) is a well known and highly regarded Barcelona gunsmith. Although he occasionally signed his pieces Armero del Rey (Arms Maker to the King), Esteban was neither an honorary nor actual royal gunsmith, though he may have executed some royal commissions.

To quote Soler, "If Pedro Esteban was the greatest Artificer of Cataluna, he owed it to Martinez". Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, with the official status of a nationality. Martinez was a highly esteemed maker who had revived royal commissions. He became aligned in some way with the losing side during the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714). We know that he left Spain for Portugal where he obtained the position of gunsmith to King Juan. At the time, Portugal supported England, Holland, and the Holy Roman Empire against Spain and France. Martinez apparently then traveled to Catalonia which was in rebellion. There he was captured and sentenced to death. While being held for execution in Barcelona, Martinez was recognized and sometime after 1714 freed to work for Pedro Esteban. Eventually Martinez became the chief Master of Arms of Mallorca. (3)(4)(5)

The Deop Family of Gunsmiths
Deop was Ripoll`s first family of gunsmiths. They supposedly immigrated from Germany in the mid sixteenth century, and were still manufacturing gun locks well into the nineteenth century. The size and long history of this family contributes to the confusion when trying to identify an individual maker. (6) The lock on this pistol has probably made by Augusti Deop. He was active between 1720 and 1755.
(1) The Holster Pistol, page 21 - 24
Georgian Pistols, The Art and Craft of the Flintlock Pistol, 1715-1840, By Norman Dixon (1971)

(2) The Spanish Lock, Page 166 and 184
A History of Spanish Firearms by Dr. James D. Lavin (1965)

(3) The Remaining Smiths, Page 138 and 139
A History of Spanish Firearms by Dr. James D. Lavin (1965)

(4) Page 29
Compendio Historico de los Arcabuceros de Madrid desde su origen hasta la epoca presente by Isidro Soler (1795) (Arcabuceros Historical Compendium of Madrid from its origin to the present day)

(5) List of Gunmakers page 94 and 99, see item #66
Spanish Guns and Pistols by W. Keith Neal (1955)

(6) Ripoll, Page 219-220
A History of Spanish Firearms by Dr. James D. Lavin (1965)

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