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A RARE FRENCH MODEL 1854 PINFIRE FUSIL LANCE DE CENT-GARDES WITH SCARCE SWORD-BAYONET
A RARE FRENCH MODEL 1854 PINFIRE FUSIL LANCE DE CENT-GARDES WITH SCARCE SWORD-BAYONET

CIRCA 1856

Details
A RARE FRENCH MODEL 1854 PINFIRE FUSIL LANCE DE CENT-GARDES WITH SCARCE SWORD-BAYONET
CIRCA 1856
With blued sighted octagonal to round barrel rifled with four grooves, folding rear-sight mounted at the breech, sprung falling-block with chequered cocking handle below and external mainspring, walnut three-quarter stock numbered 103 on the butt, inset roundel containing vial of blessed water near the wrist, brass mounts, and white leather sling; together with sword bayonet, the arsenal shortened fullered T-section blade with Chatellerault arsenal manufacture markings and dated 1854 brass hilt with large characteristic disc-shaped guard, and grooved dark horn grip, in regulation steel scabbard
Bayonet blade: 34 in. (86.5 cm.) long
Rifle barrel: 31 in. (79 cm.) long

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Lot Essay

Designed by Captain Treuille de Beaulieu, the Fusil Lance de Cent-Gardes became the first breech-loading firearm adopted by the French army. It fired a variant of the pinfire cartridge which had two pins, one for ignition and the other for extraction after firing. The mechanism operated with an open breech which closed on firing.

The sword-bayonets for these unique firearms originally had blades measuring 1000mm but were very quickly shortened to around 860mm following an unfortunate incident in the hall at the Château de Compiègne where the tips of the guard's bayonets became stuck in the ceiling whilst following the order to present arms.

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