Liège rifle from the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris

Liège rifle from the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris
This weapon is a masterpiece of 19th-century chiselling and inlaying.  In simple terms, it is a hunting rifle with two shots for spindle cartridges – the Lefaucheux system – which was very widespread at the time.  However, the presentation is exceptional.  The barrels, which are the work of Léopold Bernard in Paris, are based on “torsion Damascus”, a procedure that combines iron and steel forging, in order to obtain a flexible and resistant metal with the appearance of a uniform surface after acid treatment.  The chiselling and the raised gold inlaying are by Liège-born Joseph Boussart.  They are inspired, in the “neo-Renaissance style”, by cynegetic themes: dogs and stylised plant decorations.  The trigger guard is chiselled in the round and represents a dog watching a pair of partridges, while the hammers of the dogs are worked into the form of chimeras.
The 1867 Universal Exhibition marked the height of the Second French Empire.  It took place on the Champs-de-Mars where, twenty years later, the Eiffel Tower would be erected.
Experts from Liège, who were among the greatest arms manufacturers in the world, exhibited numerous products there.  Pierre Joseph Lemille (1811–1882) – who would later found the Liège Arms Museum – played an important role, notably with this rifle and another similar example, which was chiselled by Cuvelier (MAL  4.720)

Année d'exécution
1865
Lieu
Liège
Dimensions
L. : 116 cm ; L. canons : 75 cm ; Calibre : 16