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VERY RARE BALL’S PATENT ANTI-GARROTTER BELT PISTOL – A VERY UNIQUE PIECE OF FIREARMS CURIOSA:  As described in the famous Flayderman & Co. catalog No. 117 (1994), “Considered to be among the rarest of firearms curiosa”, this very rare Ball’s Patent Anti-Garrotter Belt Pistol is a very unique offering.  The above cited catalog listing was for an anti-garrotter pistol in the original case and was titled “ONLY KNOWN SPECIMEN CASED LABELED PERC BELT PISTOL”.  The text of the description included the statement that there was another known unmarked specimen of this same pistol at the time of the publication of the catalog, and it is possible that this pistol is that cited specimen.   

The set offered by Flayderman was in the original lacquered iron case, with a printed maker’s label/instruction sheet mounted in the cover of the case which included an illustration of the belt and gun, and the title, “Henry Ball, Mfr of Improved Patent Single & D.A. Revolvers & Guns….Instructions for Loading Ball’s Patent Anti-Garrotter.”.  It was complete with the full length leather belt and buckle which featured a lanyard and pull knob enclosed in a raised rib that ran the length of the belt, and sold for $5900. The pistol in this set featured a round 1 ½” barrel mounted in the center of the plate - the barrel was stamped with British proof marks and the base plate was stamped “W. BALL’S PATENT”.   

Henry Ball is recorded in the history of British gun makers as  being located at 23 Weaman Row,  Birmingham, England, and employed as a gun and lock maker from 1849-1868. 

Ball’s invention was intended to be worn either at the front of the body, or at the small of the back pointed to the rear, where it could be used in defense against an attacker attempting to garrote - to use a cord or wire with handles attached with which to strangle – the victim.   

This rare specimen - with the base plate measuring 6 ¾” long and 2 ¾” wide, and the .50 caliber barrel measuring 1 ¼” long - presents in very good to excellent condition.  The base plate, the barrel, and the plate covering the lock mechanism are clean and bright with no significant aging or any corrosion.  The lock and firing lever function is very crisp and tight with no play.  The cone is complete and is not deformed.  As with the specimen noted in the Flayderman catalog listing, this belt pistol is unmarked.    

As formerly described, by Flayderman as “one of the rarest of firearms curiosa”, this is a very interesting oddity from the Victorian age of firearms.  (0303) $2925 

NOTE:  Despite the relative rarity of any item, on occasion the situation arises where I become a lightening rod for a particular piece, resulting in having more than one for sale at a given time.  As in the case of this Ball’s Patent Pistol, the happenstance of having two of these rare pistols at the same time should not be interpreted with the belief that they are more common than they are.  Rather, this is a unique opportunity for you to exercise a choice between two excellent specimens. 



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