This is a very unusual set containing the premier revolving Brevet handguns of the 1850s: Samuel Colt's famous Model 1851 Navy and Robert Adams' competing 1851 patent self-cocking revolver. It has been suggested that this set may have been created for use as a salesman's sample in the period. Both guns are contained within a fitted mahogany case with brass lid escutcheon and green baize interior lining. The case also contains: two bullet molds (one "COLT/BREVETE" as well as "6322" and "NC" marked and the other marked "REGISTERED/28 Nov./1851/R. ADAMS" in a crowned oval over "54" and the C. Dandoy maker's mark), two screwdrivers, two nipple wrenches, a bore rod, a patch cutter, lead bullets, and cap container. The first gun is an Adams pattern revolver marked "MANUFD BY C. DANDOY LICENSED BY DEANE ADAMS & DEANE LONDON" on top of the barrel, "ADAMS PATENT No 4509" on the right side of the frame, the matching serial number on the cylinder, the same on the front of the frame under Dandoy's maker's mark, "ADAMS/1851/PATENT" on the left side of the frame, small Liege proof marks, and detailed vine style scrollwork. The barrel is equipped with a dovetailed bead front sight, and the top strap has an integral notch rear sight. The grip is finely checkered and has a silver escutcheon on the rear and a cap compartment in the butt with a shell pattern door. It was manufactured by the firm of Celestin Dandoy of Liege, Belgium. He was later the head of Manufacture Liegoise d'Armes a Feu. We have sold other Adams revolvers by Dandoy, but they are very rare.
Very fine with 85% plus original blue finish on the barrel, frame, and cylinder; gray/brown patina on the balance, slight edge wear, and minor scratches and marks. The grip is also very fine and has crisp checkering and only minor handling and storage marks. Mechanically excellent. The case is very good with some cracking, mild overall exterior wear, and aging and slight staining of the lining. The accessories are all very fine with only mild storage/age related wear.
This revolver was manufactured by Nicolas Gilon in Liege, Belgium. Under agreements with Colt, foreign manufacturers paid royalties for guns based on his patent but were forbidden to sell them in the U.S. Interestingly, Dandoy's company, the maker of the "A" gun, was one of the other firms licensed to do so. Gilon continued to produce revolvers based on Colt's designs even after their agreement ended. Other examples by Gilon are pictured in "'51 Colt Navies" by Swayze who notes that they were individually made and thus no two are exactly alike. The revolver features a post front sight, "COLT/BREVETE" on the barrel at the breech, "crown/V" on the left at the breech, matching visible serial numbers, script "L/N/GILON" on the face of the cylinder, Liege proof marks on the cylinder which has a country scene of a dog and birds, and "NC" on the butt that matches the Colt brevet mold in the case.
Very fine overall with 90% plus of the original blue finish, light patina forming on the bright finished loading lever and hammer, 80% original case colors, some minor pitting, distinct cylinder scene and markings, bright grip frame, strong oiled finish on the grip and minor edge wear. Mechanically excellent. This is a very attractive and unusual set showcasing both iconic 1850s designs and the high quality of craftsmanship of the Liege gunmakers.
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