New England Holster Pistol


Physical Description:

This .51 caliber smoothbore flintlock holster pistol was made in New England around 1815. It has brass furniture including a brass barrel. It is pin fastened with a Ketland lock. The lock has floral engraving and a gooseneck hammer. It is a “sleigh” design lockplate. The iron tang has a spear point filial. The stock is cherry wood with a beaver tail carving around the tang and brass nose cap.

It is stamped “KETLAND” and “L” on the inside of the lockplate.


It is impossible to identify a maker. The engravings and bluing were used by lockmakers in England in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, these engravings also can be found on some American pistols.


Flayderman, Norm. Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms…and their Values, Gun Digest Books, Iola, 2007. 9th edition.

Smith, Samuel E. and Edwin W. Bitter. Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock 1760-1845, Scalamandre Publications, New York: 1986, p. 250.

Date Made: ca 1815

Maker: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New England

See more items in: Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military, Military, The Bitter Collection of Firearms


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: The Adriana and Edwin W. Bitter Family Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1987.0014.20Accession Number: 1987.0014Catalog Number: 1987.0014.20Collector/Donor Number: P-141

Object Name: pistolpistol, flintlockOther Terms: pistol; Firearms; Flintlock; .52 In; Smooth Bore; Muzzle Load; Sa

Physical Description: metal (part material)wood (part material)Measurements: overall: 13 1/4 in; 33.655 cmoverall: 13 1/4 in x 5 3/4 in x 2 in; 33.655 cm x 14.605 cm x 5.08 cm


Record Id: nmah_438592

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