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Madrid Style, Miquelet Lock, Holster Pistol
by Francisco Antonio Garcia, Royal Maker to Carlos IV, 1781
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" (Foot of the Animal / Rooster), 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: 18 3/4 inches
Barrel Length: 12 1/16 inches
Weight: 2 lb, 2 1/2 oz
Bore Diameter: .575 inches, Smooth
Stock: Walnut, Ball & Cheek Style
Detailed Description
The barrel, lock-plate, and trigger guard of this pistol are all engraved with the makers name, Francisco Antonio Garcia, Madrid, and 1781. Garcia was a royal gunsmith to Carlos IV. The barrel is octagonal at the breech with gold-lined makers marks (punzon). The tang and breech have floral engravings. There is an elaborately chiseled and ringed waist section with floral designs before the barrel transitions to round with a cannon shaped muzzle. The barrel is pinned to a full walnut stock with floral patterns in raised relief around the tang and two steel ramrod pipes. The stock has a floral engraved ball & cheek style butt with long spurs. The Madrid style lock and pierced side plate have floral engravings with trophies of arms on the trigger guard, all surrounded by raised relief on the stock.

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Francisco Antonio Garcia
Francisco Antonio Garcia grew-up in La Puebla de Montalban, just west of Toledo, Spain. He studied under Francisco Lopez and was a fellow student of Isidro Soler. Garcia married Felipa Lopez (probably Francisco`s daughter). Long before his royal appointment Garcia was receiving royal commissions and executing works for prince Carlos IV. He was appointed as a royal gunsmith shortly before the death of Carlos III in 1788. His appointment was not formalized until January 5th, 1789 when he was sworn in as gunsmith to king Carlos IV. As a royal gunsmith Garcia received a substantial salary from the court, and was required to devote himself solely to works for His Majesty. At the time of his death in 1792, he was living at 49 Hortaleza in Madrid (3)(4)(5).

Soler also became a royal gunsmith in 1788. He authored and illustrated the Compendio Historico de los Arcabuceros de Madrid desde su origen hasta la epoca presente (Arcabuceros Historical Compendium of Madrid from its origin to the present day) in 1795.

(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 Royal Gunsmiths, Page 112, 113, and 114
A History of Spanish Firearms by Dr. James D. Lavin (1965)

(4) Page 33, 34, and 47
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) Palacio Personal, Archivo General de Palacio, Palacio Real, Madrid.
location cited: Juramento de Francisco Garcia, Nota no. 2 al asiento de Francisco Garcia
(Palace Personal, General Archive of the Royal Palace, Madrid Spain.
location cited: Oath of Francisco Garcia, Note no. 2 to seat Francisco Garcia)
As cited by Dr. James D. Lavin

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