These pages display a number of the rare items that I have had the pleasure of selling. To view more details and a larger photograph please click on the thumbnail picture.
Rare Werder Model 1869
This massive and rare pistol is the Werder pistol model 1869 in obsolete 11.5 mm calibre. This was an infantry and light cavalry falling block pistol, invented by Johann Ludwig Werder in Bavaria and based on his rifle design of 1868. It was one of the first centre fire pistols to be adopted for use by a European military force. Although it was originally known as the 'Bavarian Lightning pistol' because of its rate of fire, the Werder pistol proved too heavy for practical use. The rate of fire was said to be 20 rounds a minute and it occurred to me that this was not so bad but the pistol was introduced just as self-contained metallic cartridge revolvers were gaining immense popularity. For pure interest I considered that I was sheltering behind my horse and using either a revolver with a loading gate and this pistol and timed myself loading it. The conclusion that I reached was that if an enemy was advancing and you had a cool head, the Werder would outshoot the revolver every time in respect of speed of loading once you achieved proficiency with it. With typical Teutonic efficiency the pistol is stamped with a plethora of matching serial numbers on every part easily or not so easily reached including screw heads and inside of the trigger guard. There is some original colour but mostly mellowed to a plum platina, the cavalry cartouches are still evident on the butt and the screws are all clean and not messed with. To fire the pistol the hammer on the right of the frame is pulled back and the trigger pulled. The front trigger is then pressed with the trigger finger and the Martini style breech then opens with some violence to extract the spent cartridge ready for reloading. You can easily see that this form of pistol would later evolve into the modern slab sided automatic pistols such as the Bergmann and Mauser C96. I have only ever seen two of these pistols in my life, the other one being sold by me last month! A very interesting and rare martial firearm that really is anachronistic for its time.