From the Vault: Manceaux Percussion Pistols in Presentation Case
Brownells Gun Techs Caleb Savant and Steve Ostrem are back at Rock Island Auction Company checking out an elaborate pair of presentation dueling pistols made by Jules Manceaux in 1843. As you might infer from his name, Manceaux was a French gun maker, the finest in the royal workshop at Tulle (near Paris), who produced these matching percussion pistols, heavily engraved and inlaid with gold. They were presented by the last King of France, Louis Philippe, to his friend, the English naval hero Capt. Thomas Cochrane. Famous for daring exploits during the Napoleonic Wars, Capt. Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald (to give his full name) is the original "Master and Commander" who inspired Patrick O'Brian's novels. Rock Island's pistols are suitable for a gift given by a king to such a figure. Talk about "full-coverage" engraving! No detail is too small for exquisite craftsmanship, right down to the tiny but meticulously machined sights. The presentation box and accompanying accessories are embellished almost as elaborately as the guns. The handle of the nipple wrench is made from nicely figured wood that would do any custom rifle stock proud. The bullet mold is also engraved and inlaid with gold - and it includes an automatic sprue cutter, though surely no bullets were ever cast from it! Equally exquisite are the powder measure and primer box. The whole package is truly a masterpiece of the gunmaker's art.
WARNING: Never attempt to disassemble or reassemble a firearm unless you are absolutely certain that it is empty and unloaded. Visually inspect the chamber, the magazine and firing mechanism to be absolutely certain that no ammunition remains in the firearm. Disassembly and reassembly should follow the manufacturer’s instructions.