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Old May 22, 2014, 03:35 PM   #1
Mr357Magnum
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Please help me identify this

I know it's a Belgian revolver and and the inspector mark looks like a K with a star over it so I think it's between 1929 and 1968, stamped by Delsuax Walthere. Any help would be appreciated. The link below is to photos of the firearm. Thanks in advance.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/1...04873474589297
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Old May 22, 2014, 03:58 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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Obviously Belgian proofed.
A solid frame gate loading centerfire, I suspect it considerably predates Msr Walthere's employment in the proof house, the (star) K having been applied by a predecessor using that stamp.

It is hard to track back these anonymous guns.
If the maker is not proud enough of his work to put his name on it, there is little to be done.
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Old May 22, 2014, 04:02 PM   #3
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Thanks Jim. I've been running into brick walls trying to figure this out.
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Old May 22, 2014, 06:48 PM   #4
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The "ELG" proof WITHOUT a crown on top dates to prior to 1898, but there may be a set of maker's initials on the grip-frame under the grips.
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Old May 23, 2014, 10:57 AM   #5
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"so I think it's between 1929 and 1968"

Not even close.

By the style, patina, and the Chamelot-Delvigne-style lockwork I'd put that revolver as having been made between 1870 and 1890.

My guess is that it's a roughly .38 caliber (or 9mm) centerfire, possibly .38 Short or Long, which were cartridges developed in Britain in the middle 1860s and which were among the first centerfire rounds to achieve any popularity.
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Old May 23, 2014, 01:33 PM   #6
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In spite of the engraving, I would guess the gun has little value; typically, those guns in good shape go for around $100 but the engraving might bring it up to around $300 or so.

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Old May 23, 2014, 09:09 PM   #7
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If that revolver was hand engraved, & not roll or machine engraved, the someone put a lot of work into and that wouldn't be inexpensive.
The revolver is worth more investigation.
Don't peddle if off for a hundred bucks.
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Old May 24, 2014, 11:12 AM   #8
Mr357Magnum
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Thank you SDC, Mike, James, and Jeager. I forgot to put the measurements I took in the original post; Barrel inside diameter is 9mm, the rim measures at 11mm, the cylinder is 29mm long, 4" barrel length, approximately 5" tall, not including the lanyard ring, and 1.5" at the widest point. I have no plans to sell this revolver, my wife's grandfather brought it back from WW2. Thanks again for the help guys.
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Old May 24, 2014, 01:11 PM   #9
Bill DeShivs
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Of course it's hand engraved.
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Old May 24, 2014, 02:45 PM   #10
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Even fairly good engraving was cheap in that era. Often a gun costing all of $5 would be sold engraved for only $.50 or $1 more. That gun is more elaborately engraved than many of the time, but the lack of collector interest in the gun itself runs counter to any enhanced value from the engraving.

A true story might be of interest. Around a half-century ago, two young men interested in shooting got together and shared range time and common interests. One was the son of a master engraver in the Washington, D.C. area. At some point, the old man told his son that if the friend would bring in one of his guns, he would have an apprentice run a few scrolls on it just to practice in engraving steel, no cost to the friend. That was done with a couple of guns until the friend had only one gun left. The old engraver knew nothing about guns but decided to do a really nice job on the last rifle, again at no cost. And so he did.

How about a $5000 (1964 dollars) engraving and gold inlay job on a Carcano?

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Old May 25, 2014, 03:30 PM   #11
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I don't know if it was engraved by hand or not. That's an interesting story Jim. Thanks again for all the responses.
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Old May 25, 2014, 05:16 PM   #12
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I do. Among other things, I'm a hand engraver.
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Old May 26, 2014, 03:41 PM   #13
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There was no machine engraving at that time. There was stamping and roll engraving (e.g., Colt cylinders), but skilled labor was a couple of dollars a day and engraving was cheap, especially in Europe. There are some short-cuts, like the area of stippling and the rows of o's done with a punch, but most of that engraving is real hand engraving. While engraving of even moderate quality would significantly increase the value of, say, a Single Action Army Colt, I don't see it doing much for that Belgian revolver in terms of value.

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Old May 27, 2014, 09:51 AM   #14
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"There was no machine engraving at that time."

Sure there was. Pantographic engraving machines using cutting burrs capable of engraving metal, stone, etc., first started coming out in the 1840s, IIRC.
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Old May 27, 2014, 10:52 AM   #15
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I am aware of those cutters being used to duplicate statues and the like, but I don't recall seeing any old time firearms engraving that was done that way, that is, cut with a revolving cutter rather than with a burin. In the modern era, a lot of "engraving" has been done with rotary cutters as well as with machines like the Gravermeister.

In my few attempts at engraving, I found a basic problem. I can make marks in steel, but engraving is an art and no tool can make me an artist.

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Old May 27, 2014, 12:20 PM   #16
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Also, remember that Colt was using rollmark "engraving" for its cylinder scenes as early as the 1850s.
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Old May 27, 2014, 08:10 PM   #17
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Roll engraving is not really engraving in the usual sense, although the master plates were certainly hand engraved by Ormsby. Unlike the system used in roll stamping, where a roll stamp is moved across the work, the Colt cylinder engraving was put on by rolling the cylinder under pressure across a fixed plate.

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