This is a fine condition and very rare gun made by one of the great, but little known Southern gunsmiths, John H. Happoldt. A maker of fine Belt Pistols and Derringers, Happoldt was so well respected for his capabilities that his shop was awarded contracts for converting long arms for the state of South Carolina. He actually entered Confederate Service and continued his excellent work rifling and fitting bayonet lugs to muskets. This example of one of his pistols is in very fine condition. Only a handful are known to exist and this one has a period name on the grip that appears to be stamped from individual letter dies, "M. Pierce". Although there's no way to prove who M. Pierce was, there is only one in the South Carolina records and that was M. P. Pierce of the 6th South Carolina Cavalry. Could have been him, or a civilian, who knows?