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Madrid Style, Miquelet Lock, Holster Pistol
Barrel by Joan Peresteva, 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: 15 3/4 inches
Barrel Length: 9 1/4 inches
Weight: 1 lb, 14 7/8 oz
Bore Diameter: .664 inches, Smooth
Stock: Walnut, Ball & Cheek Style
Detailed Description

The barrel is octagonal at the breech, has silver floral inlays, and the gold-lined makers marks (punzon) of Joan Peresteva. The counter-mark is the Barcelona coat-of-arms. Most of the gold lining has worn away and some of the silver inlays are missing. The barrel tang has a chiseled floral pattern. There is a multi-ringed waist section with chiseled designs before the barrel transitions to round. The barrel is pinned to a full walnut stock with floral patterns in raised relief around the tang. The barrel, lock-plate, side-plate, and brass ramrod pipes are all surrounded by raised relief on the stock and there is a raised relief floral pattern where an escutcheon would normally be placed. There are two brass ramrod pipes with chiseled rings and floral patterns. The ramrod is not the original. The stock has a ball & cheek style butt with long spurs. One of the spurs has been repaired. The butt is cast and chiseled in brass with masks, scrolls, foliage and trophies of arms. Its pommel has an applied silver portrait in profile. The Madrid style lock has a gold-lined makers mark. The mark probably belongs to a member of the Deop family of makers. Again, most of the gold lining has worn away. The lock-plate is also engraved with trophies of arms. The side-plate is of cast brass with chiseled scrolls, foliage and trophies of arms. It has an applied silver illustration of a stag being chased by a dog. The trigger guard is of cast brass with a chiseled mask, foliage and a applied silver portrait in profile.

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Joan Peresteva
Joan Peresteva / Per Esteva belonged to the most prominent Catalan family of 18th Century gun-makers. Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, with the official status of a historical region. Peresteva was a royal Spanish gun-maker who had been conferred the title of "Armero del Rey" (King`s own gunsmith). His barrels have also been found on weapons made for French royalty. Joan Peresteva was the chief inspector of Barcelona`s arsenal from 1716 to 1737.

The Peresteva family of Barcelona is often incorrectly called Esteva (3).

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. (4) 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) Flintlock Gun #87, Page 135
Liechtenstein: The Princely Collections, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art (1985)

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

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