Nicolas Plomdeur of Liege is listed in records from the Great Exhibition in 1851 (First World's Fair) as a manufacturer and exhibiting: "Gun, ebony stock. Pair of pistols, ebony stocks..." and other guns. It is possible this gun was the first in the list given its extensive embellishment and ebony stock would have made it a prime exhibition piece. The browned Damascus barrels have gold bands at the muzzle and breech, a bead front sight on the concave rib with "Nlas Plomdeur a Liege" in raised gilt letters towards the breech end, raised gilt floral scrollwork on the barrels at the breech end, and nicely sculpted bolsters. The standing breech incorporates relief chiseled, pierced fences and has two gold inlaid birds surrounded by scrollwork. The locks and furniture are embellished en suite with the right lock featuring a rabbit at the rear and a dog chasing a rabbit at the front, the left lock featuring a similar scene but with the rabbits exchanged for pheasants, a stag on the highly ornate pierced trigger guard, a snipe on the trigger guard tang, and crane on the buttplate tang. The stock has raised relief scroll and geometric patterns carving. Provenance: The Collection of Joe M. Wanenmacher Jr
Fine with nearly all of the original gold inlay remaining, mix of deep brown patina and faded original brown finish along with light Damascus patterns along the barrels, traces of original case colors on the locks and furniture, smooth gray and brown patina on the balance, some slight oxidation and pitting, and generally mild age and storage related wear overall. The stock is also fine and has attractive dark ebony coloration throughout, distinct carving, a slightly separated horizontal crack and chip visible in the toe, a small flake at the edge of the forend on the right, minor crack at the wedge, and light scratches and handling marks. Mechanically excellent. Definitely a stunning mid-19th century European shotgun.