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This exceptional Second Model LeMat revolver was manufactured in London c. 1864-1865. It has the unique and distinctive features including the combination of a full octagon .42 caliber revolver barrel and percussion nine-shot cylinder, a second centrally mounted smoothbore .65 caliber/16 gauge "buckshot" barrel, loading lever on the left side of the revolver barrel, pivoting hammer nose with central change lever on the hammer spur, rounded trigger guard with no spur and lanyard ring hole in the butt of the frame. The LeMat revolver was developed by Dr. Jean LeMat of New Orleans, Louisiana, and patented in 1856. LeMat revolvers were manufactured in Liege, Paris and Birmingham c. 1856-1865, total production is estimated at fewer than 2,900 revolvers. Approximately 1,500 LeMat revolvers are thought to have been purchased by the Confederate government during the Civil War, with many senior Confederate officers known to have carried them. However, the LeMat revolver is most closely associated with the famed Confederate cavalryman General J.E.B. Stuart who carried a LeMat revolver when he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, Virginia in 1864. The LeMat two-barrel "Grapeshot" revolver is the most distinctive of all the Confederate associated firearms. The top barrel flat is stamped "LEMAT & GIRARD'S PATENT LONDON". Birmingham proof marks are stamped on the upper left barrel flat and on the cylinder between each chamber. The underside of the grapeshot barrel is stamped with "18" flanked by two proof marks. The matching serial number "8604" is stamped on the right of the upper barrel, frame and cylinder. The revolver has a high polish blue finish and is fitted with two-piece finely checkered walnut grips, with a fleur-de-lis stamped on the left panel. Unidentified "1/1076/R.J" stamped on the sideplate. Of interesting note, serial number 8584 London LeMat, 20 numbers below this example offered, belonged to Lt. Simeon Cummings of the Confederate Steamship C.S.S. Alabama (reference page 189 of the book "LeMat, The Man, The Gun" by Forgett and Serpette).
Exceptionally fine, retains 60% plus attractive bright original high polish blue finish concentrated mostly on the upper barrel flaking to a smooth brown patina on the balance, scattered mild spotting/freckling, a few scattered areas of light pitting, and sharp markings and edges in the metal. The grips are very fine with some scattered dings and scuffs, and defined edges, checkering and fleur-de-lis stamp. Mechanically fine. This attractive London LeMat, one of the finer surviving examples today, would make an excellent addition to any Civil War arms collection!
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