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LOT 1358
Extraordinary 1855 Dated Exhibition Silver and Silver Gilt Mounted, Engraved, Chiseled, and Raised Relief Carved Pair of Percussion Dueling Pistols by Gastinne-Renette with Magnificent Relief Carved and Engraved Case and Accessories Displayed at Multiple International Exhibitions and Formerly Owned by Olympian Walter Winans and Later W. Keith Neal -A) Gastinne-Renette Percussion Dueling Pistol - Serial
no. 894, 451 cal., 11 inch octagon bbl., gray/silver/gold finish, ebony stock. These extremely opulent pistols numbered amongst the finest exhibition arms displayed by Gastinne-Renette in the 19th century, including at the Exposition Universelle of 1855, the year of their manufacture. The pair would have been one of the finest products of excellence in Gastinne-Renette’s catalog of fine exhibition arms which were regarded as among the finest deluxe arms ever produced and remain revered as among the most beautiful and luxurious firearms ever produced in France. The Exposition Universelle of 1855 was the next World’s Fair following upon the success of the Great Exhibition of 1851
in London and was intended by Napoleon III and the French Government to showcase French artistry and manufacturing excellence. French gunmakers
submitted truly extraordinary works of art like these pistols. Pages 560-562 of “Visite a L’Exposition Universelle de Paris, en 1855” discuss arms by Gastinne- Renette and notes orders by emperors and other world leaders. Cased pistols made for Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria were sold by Rock Island Auction Co. in December 2020 from the Dr. Gerald Klaz Collection for $316,250. This incredible high art pair of percussion pistols was subsequently displayed
at the International Exhibition of 1862, also known as The Great London Exposition, and one of the pistols is illustrated as item 4 in “Masterpieces of Industrial Art & Sculpture at the International Exhibition, 1862 Vol. 1” in Plate 6: “French Ornamented Fire-Arms” (print of plate included). The book states: “For ‘Armes de luxe’ Paris has long maintained supremacy over all competitors: the names of Devisme and Le Page Moutier are of world-wide note; to which follow worthily in suit Gastinne-Renette, Gaudin, Brun, Perrin, and Thomas,
all of whom obtained the highest commendation of the Jury in Class 11... The pistol (No. II.) was one of a set most exquisitely ornamented; the individual taste of the artist appeared in these to have had full scope, and they were distinguished by great variety of, and taste in, design.”

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