Dated "1866" on the barrel with a Liege maker's mark on the stock, this arm was produced as a hexagonally rifled wall or rampart gun and fitted with a quick-release rectangular breechblock. Such arms, effectively a midpoint between the shoulder fired rifle and crew-served artillery, were typically placed in fixed positions where barricades and walls could serve to bear the weight of the arm and used to harass the enemy at ranges exceeding conventional rifle fire. This particular example weighs in at approximately 33 pounds. Blade front and folding ladder rear sights, with a 360 degree swiveling pintle ahead of the rear sight, and a number of small proofs on the barrel, frame and lock plate. The rectangular steel breechblock contains the chamber and can be rapidly removed by deploying a lever on the frame. Smooth half stock, with a steel pistol grip and buttplate, as well as "MANUFACT. D'ARMES/18 LIEGE 66" stamped on the right side. Included with the arm is a pair of wooden display stands. A very similar wall gun has been attributed to Pierre Malherbe of Liege.
Very good, showing a mixed brown and gray patina overall, with some mild spotting and handling marks. The stock is very good, with scattered dents and scratches. The stands appear homemade. Mechanically fine.
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More information on the history of this item can be found here: <a href="https://www.rockislandauction.com/blog/the-belgian-behemoth/" title="The Belgian Behemoth Wall Rifle" target="_self">The Belgian Behemoth Wall Rifle</a>