DescriptionExtremely Rare and Possibly the Only Pair of Fine American Percussion Pistols by H. Midnight, Philadelphia, Pa. and Egg Harbor, New Jersey. .36 caliber, 6 3/8-inch browned octagonal barrels with top flat marked: E. Midnight. Dovetailed front sight. Case-hardened breechblocks numbered 1 & 2. Key adjustable rear sight. Snail type nipple bolsters with rear skirt. Scroll-engraved tang. Coin-silver oval thumbpiece escutcheons. Scroll-engraved back action locks and hammers. Varnished walnut stocks with sub-relief checkered panels with scrolled borders. Rounded ovoid pommels with engraved oval escutcheons. Engraved German silver furniture. Steel wedges. A wonderful set of pistols with typical Philadelphia flair. Sold together with large binder containing the detailed history of Midnight as a gunsmith as well as his service as a Union soldier.
Edward Mittnach [Midnight] immigrated to the United States in 1852 from Bremen, Germany. He and his wife Fredericka began their new life in Ward 6 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Midnight worked as a gunsmith. His excellent work is well represented by this set of high quality pistols. Besides his obvious skills as a gun-maker, Midnight had a military history as well, being drafted at the age 44 into the Union Army and served as a private, Co. B, 11th New Jersey Infantry from Oct. 11, 1864 to May 30, 1865. He fought in the Battle of Petersburg among others and was cited for heroism and gallantry, being wounded while rescuing one of his comrades. Later census records after the Civil War show Midnight continued his profession as gunsmith in Egg Harbor, New Jersey. He remained in business at 52 Philadelphia Ave. until he died in 1913. Sold together with large comprehensive file on Midnight's history.
Condition: The only guns we have ever seen by this maker. Both guns are excellent to nearly new showing most all of their original barrel browning and case-hardening colors. Wood excellent with minor marks. Action on both pistols is excellent.
*Heritage Auctions strongly encourages in-person inspection of items by the bidder. Statements by Heritage regarding the condition of objects are for guidance only and should not be relied upon as statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty, or assumption of liability by Heritage. All lots offered are sold "AS IS".
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