Image Lot Price Description



SN 88. With the exception of the PGT Beauregard revolver, also offered in this collection, there is no finer 1st model LeMat revolver identified to a Confederate officer. This gun has long collection history and provenance and is a beautiful “as found” extremely rare and extremely fine example, retaining much of its original finish and its original LeMat holster, once with General Lewis’s name discernible on inner flap. There are several pieces of correspondence concerning the cleaning of the original holster that exposed the inscription that is no longer discernible (Gary Smith to William Albaugh). General John Lawson Lewis was a well-known New Orleans military commander dating to 1842. In 1845 he was the Sheriff of New Orleans. In 1854 Lewis was elected Mayor of New Orleans. While serving in these political offices he maintained his position as the Commanding General of the Louisiana State Militia. In 1861 with the rumblings of the coming war, Major General John Lewis was in charge of the first Louisiana Division. From February 1980, Arms Gazette article “The recommendation that ‘The Guard D Orleans be armed with 400 rifles and sabre bayonets, and for officers improved revolvers, such as Colonel Le Mat’s grape-shot revolver, was made by the Louisiana Inspector General in November of 1860.” If we are to assume that Colonel Le Mat was every bit as much of a businessman as the famous Colonel Colt, but perhaps on a somewhat smaller scale, isn’t it likely that he would attempt to present the first models of his revolvers to influential officers? In light of the above recommendation it seems only logical that General Lewis acting as Commander of the Louisiana Militia would have received the revolver directly from the inventor, Jean Alexander Le Mat.” It is also quite possible Beauregard could have presented this gun to Lewis personally, regardless of how General Lewis acquired his “Grape-Shot” revolver. Over the years it was maintained in beautiful condition. General Lewis would live until 1886 and from his obituary published in the New Orleans Daily Picayune: “When the Civil War broke out, Gen. Lewis, although far beyond the military age, offered his sword to his State, and joining the Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department, served on the staff of the Commanding General, behaving with great gallantry. At the battle of Mansfield he was wounded in the head by a bullet, and the injury thus suffered gave him trouble for the balance of his life. He was specially thanked for his splendid conduct on the field by the Governor of Louisiana, Hon. Henry W. Allen. He leaves three sons, Alfred, John and Thomas. The second of these lost an arm in the battle of Mansfield.” These early LeMats were coveted by the Confederate hierarchy. In addition to Beauregard’s identified LeMat and General John L. Lewis’s being offered here, General JEB Stuart owned SN 115 that is now in the Museum of the Confederacy. Stonewall Jackson was presented a 1st model from Beauregard October 18, 1862, but its current whereabouts is unknown. There is a very large archive of provenance and history including 2 original 1861 dated documents from “Camp Lewis” named after Major General John L. Lewis. File also contains original correspondence from early collectors such as William Albaugh, John Graham, John Malloy, Val Forgett, Jr. and others. PROVENANCE: Estate sale, Augusta Georgia, 1968; Jack Malloy Collection; John Graham Collection, 1969; Ron Bridges Collection; William Hozie Collection; William Albaugh, 1975; Jan Reifenberg Collection; Pictured and described pgs. 18-21, Arms Gazette, February 1980; Don & Kathlee Bryan Collection. CONDITION: Very fine overall, all matching and complete. SN 88 is found on every part normally numbered including bbl, shotgun bbl, loading arm, plunger, cyl, hammer, and frame. Grips have a beautiful burl color and grain. When removed, each grip was SNd 88 as well as on the screw that retains them. Each grip is also stamped in a cartouche “BAGUET.” Bbl retains only hints of original blue but is overall smooth and plum/gray. Shotgun bbl is overall smooth plum. Cyl shows tiny traces of blue in protected recesses with an overall plum/gray. Frame, hammer and plunger retain about 50% muted dull case colors with the balance a smooth blue/gray on right side and left side including side plate of silver/gray. Grips are fine with light shrinkage, several bruises on right side and light diamond edge wear. Mechanics are excellent and crisp; the shiny pistol bore still retains remnants of original blue finish, shotgun bore is smooth with patina still showing original tool marks. The accompanying original holster is sound and solid though scuffs and cracks are found near toe and a lard crack at fold in flap has been reinforced with a glued section of gauze, sewn closure and belt loop are both intact and functional. Also accompanying this lot is an original LeMat cartridge of which there are very few known, Overall length is about 15/16″ which includes the waxed paper which contains 48 cal conical ball and powder. 50122-15 JS (75,000-125,000) – Lot 2199

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Auction: Firearms - March 2016
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.