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Rare pistol to go on display briefly at Fredericksburg Area Museum

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Date published: 4/6/2007


If you want to see the Revolutionary War pistol that the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center recently acquired without waiting for the museum's new wing to open next spring, your window of opportunity begins today.

The museum will display the rare weapon in its galleries at 907 Princess Anne St. through April 15. After that, the gun will be put back in storage until the new building across William Street opens.

The pistol was made in 1773 at the Rappahannock Forge in Falmouth. Since then, it has been passed and sold among various owners, until the museum was alerted in February that it was going on public auction in California.

An anonymous "friend" of the museum fronted the money for the $170,250 winning bid.

Only nine of these guns are known to still exist, according to Mary Helen Dellinger, FAMCC's senior vice president for collections and exhibitions.

The Rappahannock Forge was owned by James Hunter. It was one of two Fredericksburg-area forges that made weapons for the war effort. The other was Fielding Lewis and Charles Dick's Fredericksburg Manufactory of Arms.

The museum already has muskets from both forges on display in its Princess Anne Street galleries.

Emily Battle: 540/374-5413
Email: ebattle@freelancestar.com