ref: AP046

Lefaucheux Pinfire Pocket 7mm

In 1846, Lefaucheux pinfire revolvers – named after pinfire bullet inventor Casimir Lefaucheux 1802-1852 (pictured below) – were the first to use an all-metallic bullet and were in commercial production until about 1873.

The US government purchased 11,000 model M1854 13mm calibre pistols (originally developed for the French navy) for the Union army’s cavalry  and some also found their way into Confederacy hands  – most likely via New Orleans – during the American Civil War.

This 7mm model also had something of a reputation among European arts and cultural circles in the 19th century and was a popular personal-carry piece in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany.

The popular French poet Paul Verlaine used one to shoot and wound another French poet, Arthur Rimbaud in 1873. In 2016, that original pistol sold at a Paris auction for 435,000 euros .

A Lefaucheux 7mm pistol is said to have been the type used by Dutch master Vincent Van Gogh, who in 1880 fatally shot himself. His original pistol is currently on display at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Ours is a factory-engraved model  which has managed to survive two world wars, countless political upheavals  and numerous economic meltdowns in very good condition. It is  mechanically sound with tight cylinder rotation, folding trigger with double action and well-defined engraving and has resided among private European collectors until 2019.

Historically, it represents a milestone in pistol development, military deployment, plus a touch of infamy making it an important part of the antque pistol collector’s portfolio.

Related image

Casimir Lefaucheux 1802-1850

Related image

A Union Cavalry soldier with his Lefaucheux M1854pistol.