Alexander Hamilton's Pistols Sold At Auction

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posted on June 3, 2021
Three Days In May
Two flintlock pistols that sold at auction and once belonged to Alexander Hamilton
Photo courtesy of Rock Island Auction.

A pair of flintlock holster pistols presented to Alexander Hamilton—founding father, Declaration of Independence signer and American patriot—sold at Rock Island Auction on May 14, the first of the company’s three-day event last month.

Hamilton’s flintlock pistols are .58-cal. and have 9” round barrels. Stocks are made from walnut, and the finish is brightly blued. General Philip Schuyler presented the guns to Hamilton after the Battle of Saratoga. The matched pair features light floral engraving, the barrels are smoothbore and furniture is brass.

The pistols remained in his family for 150 years, until they were finally sold in the 1940s. The authenticity of the pistols is well documented and includes notarized affidavits. During the Revolutionary War, only two Founding Fathers served in the Continental Army with distinction—George Washington and Hamilton, according to Rock Island Auction’s website.

The first day also saw a J. Ulrich exhibition relief-engraved Winchester Model 1873 rifle. The gun was originally commissioned as a display piece for the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition—celebrating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The President of Honduras presented it later to Winchester.

Notable firearms also sold include Bat Masterson’s Colt Single Action Army, a Confederate Columbus Arsenal 9-lb. cannon and a French Model 1857 “Napoleon” 12-lb. cannon. Hamilton’s pistols sold for a hammer price of $1.5 million, while Bat Masterson’s Colt sold for $488,750. The two cannons sold for $661,250 and $138,000, respectively.

Rock Island Auction’s next auction takes place June 10 to 12, and more than 5,500 guns are already listed for the event.

Photo courtesy of Rock Island Auction.

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