While browsing the catalog of the upcoming September 2019 Morphy Field & Range Firearms Auction catalog, I came across this rather weird old percussion pistol. According to the description of the lot, this pistol was used as a sailboat race starter. I suppose the large bell-shaped cup attached to the muzzle is designed to amplify the report or guide it to a certain direction so that everyone will hear the start of the race. If you think or know for sure that it served a different purpose, sound off in the comments section and let us know about your thoughts or the actual purpose of the bell.

POTD Percussion Pistol Used to Start Sailboat Races (2)

Here is the full description of this lot as seen on Morphy Auction’s website:

LOT #2300

(A) A MOST INTERESTING AMERICAN BOX LOCK PERCUSSION PISTOL OF ALLEN TYPE, FITTED WITH AN ENORMOUS BRASS BELL FOR USE IN STARTING SAILBOAT RACES

The pistol itself is of Allen type. CONDITION: Pitted throughout, possibly from maritime use. Walnut two-piece grips have some wear. The large flaring brass bell with collar detached has old dark patination. Action is crisp. Bore disregarded. A fine pistol for the collector of firearms oddities. From the Robert Sadler Collection.

The price range that this pistol will be likely sold at is $400-$600 as estimated by the auction house. The Morphy September 2019 Field & Range Firearms auction will take place from September 10 to 12.


Images courtesy of Morphy Auctions, www.morphyauctions.com