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French Canteen? Maybe something like this...WWII French mess kit/canteen combo? Out on a limb here. This one's dated 1945. I'm trying to keep in mind that the French definition of "canteen" might be a bit different from ours? Who knows? I believe the Germans had something similar?

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Through my job, I have the facilities to find good opportunities in weapons. But finding a 1917 military model in France in this condition is a miracle. I was contacted by an individual who inherited this pistol. Stored in a metal canteen filled with grease, it did not deteriorate. Grease has dried here and there and I haven't been able to get it all off yet but I'm hopeful.

I already have three civilian Colts from 1915, French government contract. It would be extraordinary for this to be one of the 500 purchased in 1917 at the Springfiel arsenal, still for the French army. But it seems to me that it would be impossible to determine. Shame.

Still, I stop looking for a US WW1 soldier. I don't think I can find better...

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Stop getting all knotted about that canteen... First I never said it was military and second it's anything but important.o_O
Why get miffed? Like the grease we are simply curious.
Too much to ask for a pic of said 鈥榗anteen鈥?
Military or Aunt Jemimas I鈥檓 just curious what the 鈥榗ontainer鈥 it was stored in looks like is all.
 

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Stop getting all knotted about that canteen... First I never said it was military and second it's anything but important.o_O
Actually it's quite important to the story of this guns preservation. I'd love to see pics of the canteen/container, grease and more! The gun is gorgeous and a true unicorn as found but the entire story is as much, or more important to it!

"I've got this amazing 90 year old vehicle in mint condition found in an auction storage locker purchase" vs " I've got this amazing 90 year old vehicle that's been in the Ford museum all its life".
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Why get miffed? Like the grease we are simply curious.
Too much to ask for a pic of said 鈥榗anteen鈥?
Military or Aunt Jemimas I鈥檓 just curious what the 鈥榗ontainer鈥 it was stored in looks like is all.
I am not the author of the discovery. Only the one who recovered the 1911 because his heir did not want to keep it. French law is complicated for the possession of a weapon even by inheritance. He just told me how he got into possession. How curiosity made him search this funny metal box filled with grease and a strange object as well as a waterproof fabric pouch which contained 4 boxes of period ammunition (1914). The fabric became stiff from dried grease but the weapon was still partially coated with soft grease. The box had to be tight enough to preserve this fat for 100 years.
Here are the images he sent me following his discovery.
He partially degreased the weapon to take a picture of it. All the internal mechanics were still bathed in grease.
The diary page only has a date and an identifiable fact that allows it to be dated to 1920. Date of embalming. The handwritten card "Rigolot et balles - Troph茅e de guerre - 1914" - "Funny (slang) and ball -Trophy of war - 1914".
Suggests that the person who hid this weapon is not the one who was taken into possession on the ground. This weapon fighting in the same camp or having been in staffing in the French army, even in very small quantity cannot decently be called "Trophy" by someone who knows and has experienced these events.

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Sorry if my comment may have seemed aggressive about this canteen. The point of your questions escaped me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Actually it's quite important to the story of this guns preservation. I'd love to see pics of the canteen/container, grease and more! The gun is gorgeous and a true unicorn as found but the entire story is as much, or more important to it!

"I've got this amazing 90 year old vehicle in mint condition found in an auction storage locker purchase" vs " I've got this amazing 90 year old vehicle that's been in the Ford museum all its life".
You're totally right. My 5 1911 come from different backgrounds and unfortunately the French culture in terms of armament is very different from the American one. Wars and state oppression mean that these objects are very often hidden for several generations. And the origin of possession often becomes obscure. In the best case, a legend revolves around but what credit to give him. In the worst case, the weapon almost went in the trash between two piles of century-old sheets... I have a gentleman of a certain age who came to see me about a Winchester 94 which would have been given by Wild Bill Hickok when his circus was performing in France. In fact it was a Winchester French contract WW1. Like what...
In any case, the heirs did not know if their ancestor had fought and in which part of army.
A weapon in perfect condition rather suggests an officer hiding in the back than a soldier at the bottom of a trench...
One of my French Contracts came with cavalry equipment. That's all.
 

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In any case, the heirs did not know if their ancestor had fought and in which part of army.
A weapon in perfect condition rather suggests an officer hiding in the back than a soldier at the bottom of a trench...
Or, perhaps this weapon was captured from the trenches within the first weeks of issuance. It would be difficult to attribute a distinction between front line service or desk duty in Paris. By the physical appearance, one can only accept this type of relic as 'lightly handled and well preserved'.

These types of pistols appear more frequently on this side of the pond. Mine also has no reliable history, other than well preserved... though not quite to the condition of your magnificent specimen.







 
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