LEMAT SN 8, GENERAL P.G.T. BEAUREGARD’S PERSONAL REVOLVER AND FINEST KNOWN.
SN 8. This is the finest identified Confederate handgun extant that belonged to one of the most important Confederate personalities, that of General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who was LeMat’s cousin by marriage. P.G.T. Beauregard was a prominent military officer prior to war who championed these pistols to be manufactured for the U.S. Army. When the war began and he sided with his beloved Confederacy and he became the first Confederate General officer on March 1, 1861; he became full General in the Confederate Army on July 21, 1861. The only other Confederate field officers with this rank were Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and Joseph E. Johnston. Beauregard would order the first shots of the Civil War upon Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861. Beauregard had a stellar and historic military career, which is easily researched. Probably his best biographer was L.S.U. Professor T. Harry Williams, who wrote Napoleon in Gray, 1955. Beauregard owned 25% of the LeMat manufacturing company and gave several of the revolvers as gifts. The most famous of these was given to Stonewall Jackson in 1862 based on newspaper accounts, though its current whereabouts or SN are unknown. In The Confederate LeMat Revolver by Doug Adams, on pg. 37 referring to this pistol offered: “Serial number eight deserves special mention. It is one of the finest surviving First Models known. It was also Beauregard’s original pistol, which, in his haste to return to Charleston, South Carolina, he left it at the home of Thomas Henderson in 1862. Family correspondence indicates that rather than retrieve the pistol, he simply made it a gift to his long-time friend.” This extraordinary pistol is accompanied by the finest known LeMat holster. PROVENANCE: General P.G.T. Beauregard; Thomas Henderson, Savannah Volunteer Guards, 1862; Thomas Hunter Henderson; Lindsey P. Henderson Jr.; Pictured on pg. 360 of “Civil War Guns” by William Edwards, 1962; Displayed at the National NRA Centennial Show and won an NRA Silver Medal for being one of the 10 best guns at the show, 1976; John Sexton, Stone Mountain Relics, May 2, 1988; R.E. Neville, January 1993; Don & Kathlee Bryan Collection, December 1993; Pictured on pgs 110-111 “Arming the Glorious Cause” by Whisker, Hartzler & Yantz 1998; Pictured on pg. 39, “The Confederate LeMat Revolver”, by Doug Adams, 2005. CONDITION: Gun is extremely fine, retaining over 95% of its original bright blue finish with slight reductions on top of bbl with scattered staining and some scattered areas of pitting. Externally, SNs can be found on bbl, loading assembly, cyl and frame. Grips are well fit showing raised grain and sharp diamond point detail. Rifled bore and cyl chambers retain much of their original blue finish. Gun is possibly un-fired as the bores are so crisp and bright. Shotgun cyl that is typically stated in the literature to be finished bright is overall mottled plum/silver with large portions of sky blue color in protected areas, showing at least on early shotgun barrels, they were blued. The accompanying holster is also extremely fine and the best LeMat holster to surface, overall supple with light craquelure, sewn edge has several chips with reinforced glove leather lining which is dry and cracking at folds. The 9 LeMat cartridges are finely made facsimiles for display. 50122-16 JS (200,000-300,000) – Lot 2198Click here to view rotating image | Click here to view provenance
Auction: Firearms - March 2016
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