Colt Brevete percussion revolver, Belgian copy of an 1851 Colt Navy revolver, probably produced outside of patent. Cal. .36 in., rifled octagonal barrel 196 mm (7 3/4 inch) long with loading lever attached.

Made in Belgium, probably by a maker without a patent license from Colt. Serial number 1817, circa 1850s.

Physical Description

Six chambered cylinder engraved with soldier and Indian battle scene - a copy of that originally used on Colt Dragoon model revolvers, rather than the naval battle scene found on the 1851 Navy, nipples have been removed and nipple housing crudely modified, square back brass trigger guard, steel frame, brass back strap, wooden grips, thin loading level catch modelled off a Colt lever colt, but markedly different, pin style front sight missing. Knurling on hammer is modelled off typical London style framed in an inverted 'U'. Hammer is locked in cocked position. No barrel address, rather barrel is stamped 'COLT/ BREVETE'. Serial number 1817 stamped under barrel left hand side. Cylinder stamped with Liege (Belgium) proof marks. In place of typical Colt serial number on cylinder, cylinder is engraved 'colt patent'. Lightly corroded original blueing overall on barrel, and light case-hardening colours to frame. .


Colt took out his Belgian patent dated 21 August 1849 and, like many European countries at the time, an article patented had to be produced in that country within two years, otherwise the patent became void. By the time Colt was able to arrange for patent revolvers to be produced in Belgium, imitations of his 1851 Navy revolver were already being made by the gunmaking centres of Belgium outside of the patent and it is likely that this was one of them. It has none of the known stamping recognised with the so-called genuine 'Belgium Colts', as they are also known, which often have the name 'N.Gillon' or 'L.'Ghaye' stamped on them. Unlike the Belgium Colts produced under licence, which were often modelled off the early fourth model Colt Navy, this example has a square back trigger guard, a feature of the first and second model Colt Navies, and shows other marked differences that suggest it was an early copy produced outside of patent.

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