The couple, from the north of the county, discovered the pair of pistols - which had survived for about 200 years - and were on the verge of throwing them away, but decided to take them along to Louth auctioneers John Taylors instead.
The early 19th century flintlock pocket pistols were made by Edward Patrick of Liverpool.
Patrick was an extremely talented gunsmith who was active in the years 1805 to 1830, and the pistols were from the middle of that period.
His patrons included the Duke of Gloucester – a fact he boasted on the label on the underside of the box lid.
The couple took the pistols along to one of John Taylors’ Friday morning valuation clinics, which are held every week at the Woolmart auction rooms in Kidgate, Louth.
National and international bidding in the room, on the phones, and via the internet meant that the pre-sale estimates of £400-£600 were soon exceeded last week.
The hammer was finally brought down following an internet bid for £1,050.
This, however, was not the most expensive lot at John Taylors’ on the day - that honour went to a gentleman’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust wristwatch, which sold for £3,450 plus premium.
Entries are now being accepted for John Taylors’ next auction on July 5. For details call 01507 611107.