Image Lot Price Description

Revised: 9/23/2016 

Please Note: We have been advised that the portrait is not that of Edwin Forrest. We guarantee the pistols, their description and provenance. However, we will not guarantee the portrait.


SN NSN. Cal. 54. 12-1/2″ overall, 7″ oct bbl, engraved German silver and steel mounted. These guns are in spectacular condition, retaining virtually all of their orig finish and according to authority Doug Eberhart who once owned these stated they are “they are the best of their kind”. Accompanying these duelers is a 35″ x 28.7″, 1839 dated Thomas Sully oil on canvas portrait. Edwin Forrest (1806-1872) was probably the most popular American actor of his day. In 1823, Forrest, according to his memoirs, became friends with James and Rezin Bowie and at some point was given Jim Bowie’s favorite knife. Whether Forrest in some of his grandiose recollections actually possessed Jim Bowie’s Bowie or not, the knife along with these Deringers are among spectacular arms he did own in the mid-19th century. As Mr. Forrest had no heirs, he established the Edwin Forrest Home near Philadelphia as a retirement home for old actors. In a arms display case were various arms belonging to Forrest along with his other effects that the Board of Governors of the the Edwin Forrest Home sold in 1988. Regardless of any history this is no doubt among the most beautiful pair of Henry Deringer cased pistols extant. PROVENANCE: Pistols: Edwin Forrest Home, Philadelphia; Ex-William R. Williamson Collection, 1988; pictured on page 109 of Steel Canvas, R. L. Wilson; Ex-Doug Eberhart Collection. Painting: Ex-Doug Eberhart Collection. CONDITION: Pistols are both extremely fine overall, though pistol on top (gun 1) has some light pitting on lock surface, hammer and trigger guard as seen in photos, along with hairline crack below lock and opposite lock that runs entire diameter of wood. Guns both retain most of their orig Deringer signature striped brown finish with only minor reductions and minor blemishes. Blued steel trigger guards and ramrod thimbles both retain most of their orig blue though gun 1) has about 10% loss of finish. German silver mounts have crisp engraving and are well fit and to their burl walnut stocks which retain virtually all of their orig varnish. Mechanically, guns are excellent with crisp shiny rifled bores with characteristic Deringer 7 lands and grooves. Casing is sound and solid with orig wood & brass combination tool, 3-compartment charging flask which retains much of its orig varnish and bright blue spring and scissor bullet mold also in excellent condition. Brown velvet interior is light stained, minor soiling and has professionally repaired central partition. Case retains orig functioning key. Exterior of case has typical storage dings, dents and bruises, expected after 150 years, still retaining most of its orig varnished finish. Painting has several hole repairs in canvas with in-painting and 3 small un-repaired holes, none effecting facial features. Painting exhibits varnished surface, is initialed and dated 1839 on back. Original stretcher and canvas is in newer frame with a Washington, DC dealers name. 50412-50 JS (60,000-80,000) – Lot 4332

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Auction: Firearms - October 2016
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.