LAUNCESTON authorities are confident that the offer of a $5000 reward will encourage the return of two historical firearms.
A thief or thieves broke into the QVMAG Inveresk in the early hours of October 4 and stole two priceless pistols.
They date from the 1860s, and one belonged to notorious Tasmanian bushranger Martin Cash.
The guns are unlikely to be able to fire without specialist knowledge and equipment.
Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said the council would pay for a $5000 reward that led to the arrest and prosecution of the offender or offenders.
``The pistols are extremely significant from an historical perspective and are a very important part of Tasmanian heritage,'' he said. ``We are hopeful and think there will be people out there who know what has occurred.''
Detective Acting Sergeant Dwayne Kirkby said investigations were ongoing and police were reviewing CCTV footage of the break-in.
He was unable to go into further detail about the investigation, but he believed that the offer of the $5000 reward would be a ``significant incentive''.
QVMAG history curator Jon Addison said the financial reward reflected the historical significance of the firearms. Conservators are also repairing Cash's glass walking cane, which was broken during the raid.
Mr Addison said conservators were carefully separating glass fragments from the smashed cabinet and glass pieces from the walking stick.
``It was all covered in glass,'' he said.
``It's a big job to do, because of the amount of glass that was smashed.''
The Cash firearm was Belgian-made, with brown wooden butt plates, a side extractor pin and a folding trigger. Its identification number is 1997:H:0572.
The other pistol was a Deane, Adams and Deane.
It has an octagonal barrel and a check-patterned wooden grip. Its registration number is 1997:H:0689.
Police urge anyone with information about the thefts to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.