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Joined: Jan 2015
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twines Offline OP
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https://imgur.com/gallery/EYEF3bU

I am trying identify and value this shotgun. It is in fantastic conditon. I know it is St. Etiennne proofed. I dont know if the French arsenal is the maker. The BD proof is a mystery. The St Etienne proof was used from 1860-69. I will take any and all bits of knowledge.

Thanks

Tom


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Welcome Tom.

This shows the St. Etienne proof mark was not used until 1897. Obviously the gun is much older. A French expert might explain.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

The Crowned 'BD' is very likely a maker's mark; possibly the Liege tube maker Bauduin Doyen of Fraipont. The barrels are Twist/Damas Rubans.

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

I can't fit these letters with anyone here. 'LRD'?
http://www.littlegun.info/arme%20francaise/a%20accueil%20arme%20francaise%20gb.htm

[Linked Image from photos.smugmug.com]

Do you know when the cracked stock was repaired and refinished?

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twines Offline OP
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I fixed the cracked stock but the finish appears to be original. All I did was clean some gunk will oil and 0000 wool and it brightened right up. Most of the crack was inside and ran clear through so it impacted the finish minimumly . I had to do a minor bit of 400 grit sanding on the wrist but it blended in beautiflly. Managed to thourghly work some Gorrila wood glue after a bit of soaking in acetone. Seems solid. I have seen the proof listed as 1856-69 and 1860-69.

Thanks for all the info and hopefully a Frenchman will chime in.

Tom


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Reading through some French sites, it seems the poinçon d'épreuve of Saint Etienne get complicated. Up until 1855 it seems the proof house was privately owned. After that it devolved to the Chamber of Commerce of Saint Etienne. It appears that it was common for the controller des canons to put his mark on the guns as well as the proof mark of Saint Etienne.

Here is the poinçon d'épreuve for Saint Etienne beginning in 1825. Here is an example for Nicolas Carteron (from the early 1700's...admittedly) to illustrate the point:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

(One would expect the crown to disappear after the overthrow Louis Phillip in 1848...and restored 1855 when the French President Charles Lewis declared himself "Emperor Napoleon III. It was probably removed again after the battle of Sedan and the fall of Napoleon III and declaration of the 3rd French Republic 3 September 1870.)

So one would think that BD with a coronne would be perhaps a proof-house official. L.B.D or L.R.D. no doubt was the barrel maker. That is solvable but will take some time.

I'm still reading but hopefully FAB500 will know something.

- - - - - - - - -

Le Banc d’Epreuve entre en turbulence à partir de 1848 : il n’y a plus de syndic, le tarif et la validité de l’épreuve sont remis en cause par les armuriers…

L’éprouveur Merley-Duon meurt en 1855. Il sera le dernier entrepreneur privé de l’épreuve. En effet, à la demande des armuriers, de la ville et de la chambre de commerce, dès 1856 et par décret impérial, la gestion de l’épreuve est confiée à la chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Saint-Etienne. Le Banc d’Epreuve de la rue de l’Heurton est racheté à la veuve d’Augustin Merley et Merley-Tivet, ancien canonnier et contrôleur de la manufacture impériale, est nommé comme éprouveur. Avec la stabilisation de son fonctionnement, le Banc d’Epreuve voit s’établir dans sa proximité les canonniers et armuriers qui doivent venir y faire éprouver leurs productions. Se constitue ainsi de fait, par économie de déplacement, entre la canonnerie établie aux Rives pour la manufacture impériale et le banc d’épreuve, un véritable quartier armurier.

Last edited by Argo44; 11/13/22 12:32 PM.

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twines Offline OP
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The French have arrived. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I look forward for more information

Tom

Les Français sont arrivés. Merci beaucoup d'avoir pris le temps de répondre. J'attends plus d'informations

À M


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Eh bien mon ami. Unfortunately I'm not French but have a connection there through wife, language, and death of father in Normandy.

There are three true French here...Wildcattle who has disappeared into the wilds of Passionlachasse.fr, FAB500 who is not near Saint Etienne but who knows a lot, and one other in bas Normandie...who occasionally posts. Our best chance is FAB500.

I'll continue to look through this info....it's really a lot earlier than my usual research. It is history and will be fun. I would post this on Passionlachasse. However, although I'm registered there and get their monthly summaries, I've never figured out how to actually put up a post.

Last edited by Argo44; 11/11/22 07:53 PM.

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Thanks for the effort.


Suppose you were an idiot and suppose
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Tom it looks like you have a "cool old gun" vs an "important and significant gun"

If you have faith in your woodwork and repair of that stock, and if the metal appears to be fit for a ride - I suggest you give the bores and nipples a good cleaning and run it

It has the look of a great 'user' with lots of character

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This is the best article on the Banc d'Epreuve de Saint Etienne 1700 and 1800's that I've found. It looks as if even the French don't know everything. The author is asking owners of pistols and commercial firearms to forward pictures of their proof marks so that he can research the question further.

http://www.lapistole.com/GDAPoinconcivils.pdf

What the article does emphasize is that up to 1855 and the death of Augustin Merley, the last private proofer for commercial guns, Saint Etienne used both the palm fronds and crown of the Saint Etienne proof mark and his own mark crown over AM.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here is a possible mark for Saint Etienne commercial arms privately proofed from 1831 (overthrow of Charles X) to 1856. There is a crown a palm fronds but the fronds do not cross. It's interesting that the author shows no proof marks for the 2nd Republic period 1848-1855. Perhaps since Augustin Merley was still working, they didn't change.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Merley died in 1855 and in 1856 the proofing responsibility for Saint Etienne commercial products devolved onto the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The mark had the imperial crown and crossing palm fronds that appears on Twines' gun.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Again it is quite possible that the BD surmounted by crown is a proofer in the Saint Etienne commercial proof house at the time. Or it could be a commercial gun maker's mark.

However, again after the fall of Napoleon III and declaration of the 3rd French Republic 3 September 1870, it looks like the imperial crown was replaced by a stylized castle of sorts:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Anyway, the article is interesting. I'll translate it as time permits. Still looking to identify "BD."

Last edited by Argo44; 11/13/22 12:44 PM.

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Reinforcing the possibility that BD was a controller in the civilian proof house is this article on Military revolvers produced in the 1870's for Manufacture d'Armes de Saint Etienne (MAS), the government run military arms factory win Saint Etienne.

https://www.revolver1873.fr/marquages-poincons-1873.php

The military used a separate proof system and mark.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Each proofer had his own mark that was placed on the military arm.

Last edited by Argo44; 11/13/22 01:03 PM.

Baluch are not Brahui, Brahui are Baluch
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