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SN 2. Cal 40/16. Among the greatest rarities in LeMat revolvers are the two patent models made for Dr. Alexander LeMat. These first two revolvers made by John Krider, SN 1 and SN 2 were most likely used at the US military trials in New Orleans in March 1859 and later at the Washington Arsenal in May of 1859. Doug Adams in his excellent text The Confederate LeMat Revolver, 2005, conveys the success of the Grapeshot Revolver: The trials brought great success and reviews of the weapon were enthusiastically positive. Published comments include “….after a close examination of said arm, we consider it a great and important improvement on Colt’s revolver…we consider this arm far superior to any we have seen for the use of cavalry…it is also indispensable for artillerists in defending their pieces…its advantages in the naval service in boarding or repelling boarders is too obvious. This group recommended immediate introduction of the arm into our military and naval services.” Krider is also known to have made a cased engraved “patent pistol” October 24, 1859 for Charles Girard. Charles Girard was orig involved and witnessed the patent documents 3 years earlier of Col. LeMat and became his and P.G.T. Beauregard’s business partner. LeMat and his new partner’s, P.G.T. Beauregard and Charles Girard, early in 1859 must have contracted with Auguste Francotte to manufacture a small quantity of revolvers based on the Krider prototypes. There are six known Francotte made pistols closely emulating the Krider pistols, with highest SN known 20. The finest known Francotte, SN 16, was sold on these floors as Lot #2218, March 2016. These must be the guns that Beauregard was advertising in the New Orleans newspapers as early as May 21, 1859 just two weeks after testing at the Washington Arsenal where “This board was also impressed, suggested some minor adjustments and recommended that “this arm be subjected to trial by hands of troops that are in actually service in the field”. One such Francotte made gun was actually inscribed as a Christmas gift in 1863 to an officer in the 16th Maine. This unit was heavily engaged all through Virginia and most likely this weapon was captured and given as a gift. In the texts by Alain Serpette and later by Val Forgett and prior to the discovery of this revolver, these authors believed the Francotte made guns were actually products of Krider. Adams in his most recent text, points this incorrect correlation out, noting that indeed there are only 2 Krider made LeMat’s known. This cataloger feels quite strongly that this is the most important gun relating to the development of the iconic LeMat grapeshot revolver. Again, quoting from Doug Adams’ great text as to the likely theory that this indeed was Col. LeMat’s personal revolver. “The “COL.” marking, which appears to have been added to the barrel {which does not appear on SN 1}. This could indicate ownership of the pistol by LeMat, himself, or an attempt to use his new rank to gain acceptance with military inspectors. Further, one must question who, other than LeMat himself, would bother to add this title to the address, given that the name “A. LeMat” was already present. The fact that this piece came out of Northern France in the mid-1900’s and that LeMat retired in that same region in the late 1800’s lends support to the “educated deduction” that this may have been his personal gun”. This is a remarkable rarity in American arms collecting being the only known American made LeMat in private hands. The only other American made prototype SN 1 is in the Liege Arms Museum. It was obtained by the Liege Arms Museum directly from Francotte in 1891. This represents an extraordinary opportunity to personally own what is perhaps the most significant LeMat in existence. PROVENANCE: Dr. Alexander LeMat, 1859; Ex-Doug Adams & Clifford Young, 2003; Ex-Clifford & Lynne Young Collection; Photographed and described on pg 20-31 of The Confederate LeMat Revolver, Doug Adams. CONDITION: Very good to fine overall. Gun is complete and authentic in every regard. Metal is overall grey with staining. Markings are crisp and well discerned. There are traces of blue finish in protected areas. Brass trigger guard and backstrap retain about 20% of their silver plating. Checkered stocks are well fit with hand worn patina and a few minor dents and bruises. Brass and steel also have scattered areas of cosmetic dents and bruising. Mechanically, gun functions well with crisp, well defined rifling. 44797-27 JS (60,000-80,000) – Lot 4378

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Auction: Firearms - October 2016
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.