This massive and rare pistol is the Werder pistol model 1869 in obsolete 11.5 mm calibre. This was an infantry and light cavalry falling block pistol, invented by Johann Ludwig Werder in Bavaria and based on his rifle design of 1868. It was one of the first centre fire pistols to be adopted for use by a European military force. This pistol was introduced during the transition from percussion pistols to self-contained metallic cartridges and in interesting on many levels.Although it was originally known as the "Bavarian Lightning pistol" because of its rate of fire, the Werder pistol proved too heavy for practical use. The rate of fire was said to be 20 rounds a minute and it occurred to me that this was quite ambitious. For pure interest I considered that I was sheltering behind my horse and using either a revolver with a loading gate and this pistol and timed myself loading it. The conclusion that I reached was that if an enemy was advancing and you had a cool head, the Werder would outshoot the revolver every time in respect of speed of loading once you achieved proficiency with it.
With typical Teutonic efficiency the pistol is stamped with a plethora of matching serial numbers on every part easily or not so easily reached including screw heads and inside of the trigger guard.
There is some original colour but mostly mellowed to a plum platina, the cavalry cartouches are still evident on the butt and the screws are all clean and not messed with. The bore is clean and the mechanics are excellent.
To fire the pistol the hammer on the right of the frame is pulled back and the trigger pulled. The front trigger is then pressed with the trigger finger and the Martini style breech then opens with some violence to extract the spent cartridge ready for reloading. You can easily see that this form of pistol would later evolve into the modern slab sided automatic pistols such as the Bergmann and Mauser C96.
This is only the third Werder I have offered for sale in forty years.
A very interesting and rare martial firearm that really is anachronistic for its time.