Marston Pepperbox Revolver - Inventory Number: HAN 245 / SOLD
W. W. Marston & Company 6-Shot .32 Caliber Percussion Pepperbox Pistol, made circa the mid-1850s in New York City, New York. Marston marked their pepperboxes often without the Marston name and instead used the names Washington Arms, Union Arms and Phenix Armory, as is this example. Finding these Marston Pepperboxes is hard to do, as many were used hard on their way to the gold fields of California. One can almost imagine seeing gamblers sporting one of these as they were paddle wheeling down the Mississippi River. The history that these pistols enjoyed over the years is astounding: the Seminole Wars, Gold Rush, Mexican War and American Civil War. These guns are true relics of American history.
This revolver is very similar to Ethan Allen’s pepperboxes, which were prolific. Made with a bar hammer and standard trigger, the percussion nipples were integrated to the barrels. While simplifying shooting (no manual cocking of the hammer), the bar hammer did preclude the inclusion of usable sights. However, this early example of a double-action pistol must have been quite a selling point. As these were considered “point and shoot” short range defensive weapons or “belly guns”, the market did not seem to object to the limitation of not having sights.
Smith & Wesson had purchased the Rollin White Patent rights during this era, which gave them exclusivity over the completely bored through revolver cylinder needed to use metallic cartridges most effectively. The pepperbox was another unique design that was very successful during the period before S&W’s patent expired.
The overall condition is good with some darker patina throughout the recesses. The action is presently functional. The grip panels are in good shape.
Inventory Number: HAN 245 / SOLD