This is a very unique combination French pinfire revolver and dagger that was made for Jose Balta the 19th President of Peru. Balta was born in Lima, Peru April 25, 1814. He was a soldier and politician who was President of Peru from 1868 to 1872, the same year of his death. At age 16 he entered the Military College and graduated three years later at the rank of Sergeant. At age 38 he held the rank of Colonel. During the 1830s he joined such causes as Luis Jose de Orbegoso, Felipe Santiago Salaverry and the Restoration. In 1865 he aided Mariano Ignacio Prado in the seizure of the Presidency and served in his administration. In 1867 he in turn overthrew Prado. As President he re-established constitutional rule and under took vast projects for national improvement. His lavish expenditures of his administration plunged Peru deep in debt. Balta was deposed and shot by a member of his own cabinet, Thomas Gutierrez, the Defense Minister. This unique piece features a 10 3/8 inch blade, with an 18 karat gold ricasso band with scroll engraved bordering and inscribed "JB/28 Julio 1870". The blade has the faint remains of scroll etching and "ALFREDO HEROUARD/LIMA". Behind the blade is a gold plated open frame with a relief carved brass hand guard at the rear. The frame houses a six round pinfire cylinder. A 3 1/4 inch round barrel is mounted on the right side of the blade. The top of the barrel is marked "E.Lefaucheux Bte a Paris". A loading gate is mounted on the right side of the frame and the ejector is mounted on the front of the frame and swivels toward the barrel when not in use. The revolver functions in both single and double action. The handle is checkered walnut with a brass floral scroll engraved pommel. The scabbard is black leather with a brass throat and tip, which are floral scroll engraved. The frog clip is a carved grotesque face. The dagger/revolver comes in a leather bound hard "coffin" case with red velvet lining in the base and padded purple satin lining in the lid. The lid lining is marked in gold "ALFREDO BEROUARD/LIMA". This is the first coffin cased revolver of this type ever offered for sale by Rock Island Auction Company.
Fine. The blade has a dark, once cleaned, spotty, gray patina overall with some minor pitting toward the front. The frame, cylinder, ejector, hammer and loading gate retain half of the original gilt. The handle is also fine with a couple of minor age cracks on the right side, a few minor dents and very crisp checkering. The scabbard is good. The tip and throat are a little loose and the brass has an attractive aged dark patina. The case is very good overall with some scuffs and wear on the exterior. The lid lining shows a few tears and one crude repair. The velvet has faded to a tan, the fitted area for the dagger remains its original red. A very unique dagger revolver combination made for the 19th President of Peru, Jose Balta.
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