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Mid-16th century 54-bore south German breech-loading wheel-lock holster pistol – £75,000 at Thomas Del Mar.

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The price achieved in the auction of Fine Antique Arms, Armour & Militaria, £93,750 including premium, set a new auction record for a pistol of this type.

This example was made in Augsburg. It was one of 13 lots on offer from an “important private collection” but had a provenance back to the famous Sotheby’s sale in May 1983 when it formed part of the Hever Castle collection of Lord Astor.

As stated in the Hever catalogue, this pistol “displays exceptional technical innovation for the period. It can be loaded at the breech with a removable cartridge that is complete with a pan, thus allowing the user to insert a pre-loaded and primed cartridge into the chamber. Furthermore, it can be used as a self-spanning wheel-lock or primed with a key. No other pistol of this early date displays so many refinements.”

Del Mar said: “Bidding opened with a commission bid against Olympia Auctions’ live bidding platform that had two bidders. The commission bid ran out in the mid £40,000s and the competition then lay between our online bidding platform and the phones – there were nine lines booked. A phone bidder won it at the end.”

The pistol sold at the auction on July 30 to a private collector.