These interesting self-defense handguns are discussed "Firearms Curiosa" by Winant and pictured on page 159. The design for this unusual weapon was patented in the U.K. on September 5, 1877, and then the U.S. on November 6, 1877. This revolver appears to be a coin purse at first glance but contains a folding trigger pinfire revolver within with the serial number "490" on the recoil shield on the right, "90" on the back of the cylinder, and a "crown/Z" proof on the left side of the frame at the rear. The trigger folds down and through the bottom of the purse so that the revolver can be fired without opening the purse itself. The top of the case has "FRANKENAU'S PATENT." There is also a small cover for the muzzle. It is also numbered "77" by hand inside the metal body of the purse. The revolver compartment also has an ejector rod and is perforated on the lid to aid in heat dissipation. The other compartment can hold money or other items and has a note marked "Souvenier/Mdm. L. Parmentier/Jnui."
Very fine. The revolver itself retains 85% plus of its original nickel finish. The leather/fabric exterior is well-worn but complete, and the interior lining has some tears. The metal portions of the case have mild wear such as general light scratches. It is mechanically fine. A rare and very interesting "covert" revolver and piece of "firearms curiosa." Provenance: The Malcolm King Collection.
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