Fauré Le Page – The French Nobility’s Master Gunsmith
This pair of French pistols in their original case made of mahogany with elaborately engraved mounts and complete accessories – including a ramrod, bullet tongs and lead bullets – was made in Paris around 1840. The pair of signed percussion pistols was manufactured by the traditional armourers “Le Page a Paris”. The pistols, which are made of elaborately carved mahogany stocks, engraved steel mounts and Damascus barrels were often intended for duels.
The arms manufacturer Le Page was founded at the time of Louis XV in 1717 by the arms manufacturer Louis Pigny in today’s Rue des Bons-Enfants in Paris. A little later, the company was taken over by the husband of Pigny’s niece and subsequently bore the names Pierre Le Page and Le Page Moutier before it was given its final name Fauré Le Page in 1865.
The Fauré Le Page company was very successful early on and supplied the French nobility with ceremonial weapons, including kings and princes. Elaborately designed duelling pistols including the cassettes were part of the basic equipment of the young nobility, who used them to carry out matters of honour. This practice was also called satisfaction.
An interesting fact is that King Louis XVI’s hunting equipment and Napoleon’s vermeil saber were also signed “Fauré Le Page”.
The company Le Page from 1717 until today
The company remained family-owned until 1913. In addition to ceremonial weapons for the nobility, Le Page made pistol holsters as well as various leather goods and hunting gear. The traditional company has survived to this day, albeit in a slightly modified form.
In 2012, Fauré Le Page was acquired by Augustin de Bufféven and, under Bufféven’s creative direction, transformed into a successful manufacturer of luxury leather goods. Fauré Le Page is known, among other things, for his “Caliber” bag design, which is a fashionable reminder of the past of the gun manufacturer Fauré Le Page. The knight motif and Fauré Le Page’s slogan “Armé Pour Séduire” (“Armed for Seduction”) also pay tribute to the French luxury company’s more than 300-year-old tradition.
Today, the leather company Fauré Le Page has locations in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong in addition to its headquarters in Paris.
Antique weapons from Le Page are of particular interest to collectors and museums. Also in the inventory of the MET Museum in New York is a percussion pistol by Le Page from 1851.
Judging by the signature, the pair of pistols in our collection was made circa a decade earlier, around 1840, which makes the condition and completeness of the duelling pistol set all the more extraordinary.
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Measurements: Length: 29 cm, Case: H 7,2 x W 37,5 x D 25 cm