27 October 2016, 07:00 PST
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Lot 114: Published 19th C. Brass Doorstop Alarm Gun - HARRISON(53 views)
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Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
USA, ca. 1860 CE. A solid brass percussion alarm gun, of .45 caliber. Marked "Harrison" and stamped with the serial number "25". This is essentially a small cannon, which would be placed on the floor, under the edge of a door. Any movement of the door would set off a charge. From a published account in "Firearms Curiosa", this alarm gun is described as a major improvement on "frail" small caliber alarms, which seem to have been a common or at least known object in this time period. They describe the usage of this gun: "To put this alarm on duty the barrel is charged, the nipple capped, and the hammer drawn fully back until it is held by a dog catch on the end of a long sloping trigger. Then the alarm is placed on the floor close to the bottom edge of a closed door, like a door stop. Two sharp prongs on the base of the alarm at the muzzle end resist movement. If the door begins to open, the pressure will force the trigger down and release the hammer." Publication materials are included. Size: 6" L x 0.8" W x 1.6" H (15.2 cm x 2 cm x 4.1 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Priavte LA County collection
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Condition Report: Slight surface wear. Does not appear to be functional (hammer cannot be locked).