The invention is operational and the first prototypes are tested in 1859. Then comes the Civil War. LeMat lives in New Orleans. PGT Beauregard is one of the earliest leading generals of the Confederate Army and a cousin of the wife of the inventor.
The South will never have the industrial power of the North. Their manufacturers of firearms are small scattered workshops. General Lee admitted later that some models are more dangerous for the user than for the target. Beauregard promotes the LeMat revolver, participates in its investment and obtains an order for 5000 units for the use of the Confederate army and navy.
LeMat is of French origin (spell it Le Mat in French). For security reasons, he organizes the production in Europe. The desired quantity will not be met but still 2900 LeMat revolvers were manufactured between 1862 and 1865.
On March 15 in Fairfield ME, James D. Julia sells the personal LeMat revolver of General Beauregard, bearing the serial number 8, lot 2198 estimated $ 200K.
In the rush of a war operation in 1862, Beauregard forgot his gun in the home of a friend who then kept it with his consent. It has probably never been fired. Still accompanied by its original holster, it is in superb condition including much of its original blue.
I invite you to watch the video in which the auction house discusses and compares no less than five LeMat revolvers coming in the March 15 sale.
SOLD for $ 195K before fees