Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1255: Le Mat Percussion Revolver 41/63 Smoothbore

Auction Date: December 5, 2014

Rare Confederate Navy Inspected 2nd Model LeMat Percussion Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500

Rare Confederate Navy Inspected 2nd Model LeMat Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Le Mat
Model: Percussion
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 41/63 Smoothbore
Barrel: 6 5/8 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut checkered
Item Views: 3093
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 104
Class: Antique

Rare 2nd Model LeMat Revolver with Confederate Navy inspection marks. The revolver has the distinctive LeMat nine-shot cylinder, .41 caliber, rifled barrel with attached smoothbore 'grape-shot' barrel, two-position hammer and finely checkered, two-piece, walnut grips. The revolver has the 2nd Model features that include a full-octagon revolver barrel with loading lever on the left side, round trigger guard and fixed butt-ring with lanyard hole. The top barrel flat is marked with the 4th style marking: "SYSTme LAMAT Bte S.C.D.G. PARIS" in one line. The right side of the barrel is stamped with the LeMat trademark: a five-pointed star above the letters "LM". The revolver has British proof and view marks stamped on the top of the cylinder above each chamber and on the left side of the revolver barrel. The British proofs indicate that the French-made revolver components were shipped to Great Britain for inspection, proofing, assembly and Confederate acceptance. The cylinder is stamped with the distinctive inspection mark of Confederate Navy Lieutenant William H. Murdaugh. Lieutenant Murdaugh's inspection stamp consists of a capital "M" in relief within a rectangular cartouche. The revolver serial number, "2431" is located on the right side of the barrel, the lower right side of the frame and the cylinder.

Rating Definition:

Good. The revolver has little original finish remaining and the metal surfaces have aged to a silver-gray patina. There is scattered age discoloration and scattered light pitting on the barrels, lower portion of the frame, trigger guard and butt. The barrel edges are rounded from handling. The surface of the cylinder is smooth with flash pitting around the percussion nipples and front face. The loading lever retainer is missing from the left side of the barrel and the loading lever may be an excellent replacement. Traces of the original case colors are present on the sides of the hammer. The walnut grips are in very good condition with moderate handling wear on the checkered surfaces. The LeMat barrel address, trademark and serial numbers are clear and legible. The British proof and inspection marks and Confederate Navy inspection stamp are sharp. The action is crisp and functions well. The list of known LeMat Revolvers on pages 120-121 of CONFEDERATE HANDGUNS by Albaugh, Benet and Simmons identifies only five revolvers; serial numbers 2239, 2339, 2393, 2448 and 2469, as having Confederate Navy inspection marks. This Confederate Navy inspected 2nd Model LeMat Revolver is one of the rarest and most desirable Confederate handguns.

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