FRENCH Antique CHARLEVILLE 1777 Flintlock Pistol
American Revolutionary War Dated “(17)80”
Here we present a Charleville French Model 1777 Flintlock Pistol, made in 1780 at the armory at Charleville, France. These pistols were standard issue in France during the late 18th century. They would become part of the instrumental supply line from France to the American Colonists during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). France was especially motivated to assist the effort against the British due to their longstanding enmity, as well as the defeat and colonial territory loss suffered during the Seven Years War, of which the French and Indian War (1754-1763) was a part. The French, then under King Louis XVI, began sending the rebels supplies in secret at first, then became directly engaged in the conflict in 1778.
After the American Revolution, the first U.S. martial pistol made and officially adopted in America was the incredibly scarce Model 1799, made by Simeon North & Elisha Cheney. The Model 1799 was patterned very closely to the Model 1777, with only a few changes. Only 2,000 1799s were made, making them incredibly rare and very expensive, valued in the tens of thousands.
Finally, the Model 1777 is also historically significant to the French. At the time of this particular pistol’s making, in 1785, King Louis XVI was on the throne. In 1789, the French Revolution began and chaos ensued for the next 10 years, characterized by insurrections, mob violence, execution and assassination. King Louis XVI was executed in 1793. Simultaneously, France was at war with much of Europe. Eventually, Napoleon Bonaparte rose out of the ranks through coup and became emperor.
This pistol is dated “(17)80” on both the lock, just behind the flash pan, and again on the left side of the barrel. “Charleville” is marked under the cock. “F” is found on the trigger guard, pommel and lock. A fleur de lis is marked on the brass frame. Some very old soldier graffiti is present on the left side of the stock, smoothed like a rail by use.
The overall condition is very good. The metal surfaces have a smooth, dark gray patina. The markings are clear and legible. The stock is solid and has worn very nicely over the last 238 years. The bore is in good condition. The action on this pistol is excellent. Here is a very nice example of a Revolutionary War Dated Charleville Model 1777 Flintlock Pistol!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 7-1/2 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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