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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a (what I think) is a match pair of Ketland pistols that have been in my family since before my grandfather can remember.

The story goes that a couple of British Officers came to the family farmhouse (which is still standing in Westchester, my late grandfather grew up in it) and asked for lodgings. Great great great Grandpa Isiah said they could stay in the barn, but they had to surrender their firearms. When he went to bring them breakfast the next morning, the officers were gone and the pistols have remained in the family since.

I have recently inherited them and am interested in having them preserved and refinished to show case quality. Can anybody point me in the direction of someone they trust?

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Turnbull is supposed to be one of the best.

But after watching antiques roadshow... restoration may hurt the value or make them almost worthless as far as money goes. Do your research.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My understanding was that preservation was different than restoration. I will NEVER sell these and am not particularly interested in firing them or their potential re-sale value. Just display. The corrosion on the end of the barrels has gotten worse from what I remember from when I saw them 15 years ago. I don't want it getting to the point of disintegration.
 

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that is one awesome story and for sure two firearms that should stay in the family along with the story. it might also be cool/ a good idea to maybe have your grandfather write down the story and keep it in the case, either on display as well or hidden, just so that years and years from now the story wont change and for generations everyone will know the history behind them. just my opinion though, either way very nice pistols
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Jeff, email sent. Turnbull is only about 2 hours from me, so I might be taking a trip up there. I'll keep you posted.

RM, my grandfather died last year, so the oral story of the pistols will have to be written down by me I guess.

Anybody else make a recommendation? Also looking for a quality display case when they are done...
 

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RM, my grandfather died last year, so the oral story of the pistols will have to be written down by me I guess.
my apologies, i am sorry for the loss, the way i read it just made it seem like he was still around. again sorry for the loss.
 

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If you are interested in a custom display case, you could check with any good custom furniture shop. I deal with a local Menonite in the Finger lakes that does amazing work. I'm sure if you do a little digging you could find one in your area that could build you exactly what you want. I would think it should run somewhere in the $250 range, depending on glass, lighting, locks, ...... not sure what your willing to spend though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
No personal experience but all signs point to them being the best. I'm sure they can do whatever you need done and are probably experts in antique firearms.
TMC does not work on the following:

  • Double action revolvers - No mechanical work. We may re-finish on a case-by-case basis.
  • Black powder firearms/firearms designed and/or made prior to 1873
  • Semi-Automatic rifles
  • Custom 1911 pistol gunsmith work (beavertail safeties, Novak sights, etc…)
  • Action tuning on their firearm
  • Restoring bolt action and/or military rifles (M1 Garand, Lee Enfield rifles, etc….) "

From their website. Note second bullet point. Any body else have a recommendation?
 

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Ah, that sucks. Sorry for steering you wrong.
 

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My advice is to clean them a little meaning gently wipe them down and then coat them in Renaissance wax, its what the NRA museum uses or at least used to use. http://www.amazon.com/Picreator-Ren...id=1343262847&sr=8-2&keywords=renaissance+wax

Check out this link for some advice from other collectors/experts in flintlocks, etc.
American Longrifles - Home - a site dedicated to the study and building of the American longrifle
&
Contemporary Longrifle Association - Members Page

Nice basic pistols, my guess/bet would be they were for a Continental officer but who knows. The guys on the above websites will know a lot more than I. I am more into longrifles, good luck! American longrifles has a forum so you can post pics and ask questions.
 

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Did you consider calling a museum that has firearms and ask where they get there restoration work done? I was at Fort Ticonderoga a few weeks ago and they had a fairly good collection of similar guns. Also recall seeing some flintlocks at Fort Montgomery. You might find someone willing to do it as a side project for you. They are very very cool. Hold on to them.
 

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I would just get a display case, mount them up and hang it up. Check them out once a year or 2 and wipe down with some oil. Then pass them on to your son or daughter...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Did you consider calling a museum that has firearms and ask where they get there restoration work done? I was at Fort Ticonderoga a few weeks ago and they had a fairly good collection of similar guns. Also recall seeing some flintlocks at Fort Montgomery. You might find someone willing to do it as a side project for you. They are very very cool. Hold on to them.
Update: Had a few emails with the curator of the Fort Ticonderoga museum. He interested, but not at this time to display them. He did however, give me the name and number of a guy he knew well and who handles Fort Ti's weapons and arms for maintenance, restoration and preservation. Ca;;ed him today and we are meeting on Thursday to see what we can do...
Keep you updated as this goes on...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Met with Matt Zabinski today at his office in his home in Skaneateles today. He and his wife were really hospitable. I sat in their living room for almost two hours today, chatting about guns, their business, life, history, current events. They made me feel like an old family friend.
Matt and I decided to go minimal with the preservation. "You can't put 200 years of age (patina) back onto the barrels once I polish it up!" We decided we liked the way they looked with the powder burns on the wood and what not. "If I take these back down to original, I'm afraid you will be disappointed, that they might look like reproductions...I'd leave them alone if they were mine." Nice to know he wasnt trying to take me for a ride with my wallet. He also recommended 'Renaissance Wax' like MedBill said in the above post. Apparently it is also what they use at the British Museum.
Wrote me up for:
A bit of wood repair around the lock
Repair on one of the hammers
Ram Rods for both with ebony tips
Clean corrosion on ends of the barrel
Light polishing
All for $500-$700 with a potential of two months waiting. I was thrilled with that estimate and wait time. I'll update again with pics when I get em back.
 

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