Some of the most beautiful work of this craftsman, and many others, are in this book “Liège Gunmakers through their Work. 1800 - 1950”.
For more detail see: LIEGE GUNMAKERS
BERNARD Victor & Cie
Your rifle which seems to be a beautiful collector's item, is a double barrel side-by-side pinfire shotgun, with smooth bore Damascus barrels.
The flat head external hammers are mounted of back action locks.
The gun opens by a double Lefaucheux key located under the barrels.
The majority of the metal parts are deeply engraved with floral motives.
''Volute'' fancy trigger guard and “English type'' stock equipped with a long decorated support partly ensuring the rigidity of the locking system of the gun.
Stamped with the marks of the Liege Proof Hose, namely:
STAR/ ELG in an oval: final acceptance, used from 1846 to 1893.
STAR/W : counter mark of the controller- post 1877.
Perron: inspection stamppost 1853.
Your shotgun was therefore manufactured between 1877 and 1893.
The only manufacturer marking:BERNARD Bte, found on this gun, is Gold inlaid on the barrels; this mark can be attributed to the manufacturer of the Damascus barrels or to the manufacturer of the weapon.
The problem is that gunsmiths named BERNARD are comparatively numerous in Liege Ca. 1877/1893 and that without a first name it is quite impossible to attribute the weapon to a manufacturer in particular .
Most credible would be:
BERNARD Victor, registered with the proof house from 1873 to 1881. He registered 11 patents related to shotguns and revolvers.
BERNARD Victor & Co (Prooof house 1890/1891)
BERNARD & Co (Prooof house 1881/1882)
These three firms seem to be only one, only the corporate name changed.
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