Object Title

Flintlock muzzle-loading pistol - Model 1789 (conversion)

Flintlock muzzle-loading pistol - Model 1789 (conversion)


about 1789

Object Number



Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

Cavalry or Dragoon Pistol. This pistol is made up of older parts and potentially a barrel originally from a Model 1731. The pistol was not set up until the reign of Frederick William II. Stocked to the muzzle with no provision for ramrod, the barrel retained by two pins. Brass flat sheet fore-end cap. Heavy brass trigger guard, the finials being flat with bevelled edges and terminating in a teardrop and the bow being rounded with two grooves cut along it. Curled trigger. The heavy brass butt cap is rounded with deep lines chiselled on the upper borders of the cap and long flat spurs extending to termination of the lock and side-plate flats. A flat faceted diamond-shaped cap is on the bottom. The right side is engraved with the cypher of Frederick William II. The flat brass side-plate is flush with wood and the two lock-screws are flat with broad bevelled edges and the small screw through the tail is flat and flush with the plate. The entire lock, barrel tang and side-plate are surrounded with raised carving. The lower right side of the butt is stamped 12. The foresight is a long brass blade brazed 1 7/8 inches from the muzzle. The barrel tang is slightly raised at its front with a groove cut through it to act as a back sight. The round barrel has the broad baluster turning typical of Prussian eagle proof marks. The lock is the standard Prussian pattern for their 18th Century arms suitably reduced for the pistol use. The flat plate with its broad bevelled edges and pronounced tit at the tail measures 5 ¾ in. by 1 1/8 in. There is a single broad grooved cut across the tail. The faceted detachable iron pan is made without a bridle, and the steel has a flat top and faceted back. The steel spring has a tear drop finial with flat surface and is quite plain without cuts and other than the full length bevels. The swan neck cock is flat with a bevelled edge with hexagonal jaws which are faceted on the upper and under surfaces. The spur is broad and curls inward, with facets on the neck. The plate is stamped POTZDAMMAGAZ ahead of the cock and on the bevel beneath S & D (Splittgerber and Daun, producers of the Potsdam manufactory between 1722 and 1774).


Mass manufacture



OverallBore0.63 in
OverallBore16 mm
OverallLength19.02 in
OverallLength483 mm
OverallWeight1.44 kg
OverallWeight3.175 lb oz
BarrelLength11.5 in
BarrelLength295 mm


Serial Number None visible


16 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Royal Cypher
Crown over FWR
Manufacturer's mark
Lockplate ahead of cock
Proof Marks
Prussian Eagle
Controller's Mark
S & D


This pistol appears to be an earlier arm in its parts, perhaps not set up until the reign of Frederick William II (1786-1797) since the cypher is correct and not added to like that of Class XII.1843.