FRIENDS OF THE CENTAURE SOCIETY

4.4 Pieces of Art from Liège

Chapter 4 – Fiction, Odds and Ends

4.4 Pieces of Art from Liège

 

 

1-FIL06905-001

 

 

 

4.4

4.4.1

4.4.1.1

 

4.4.1.1.1

4.4.1.2

4.4.1.3

 

4.4.1.4

 

4.4.2

4.4.3

 

4.4.4

 

4.4.5

 

 

Pieces of Art from Liège

Factory Engraved New Model Armies (NMAs)

De Luxe Grade Factory Engraved Regular New Model Armies (RNMA’s)

The U.S. Kit Gun

De Luxe Grade Factory Engraved Marshal Models

Super De Luxe Grade Factory Engraved Regular New Model Armies (RNMAs)

Presentation Grade Factory Engraved Regular New Model Armies (RNMAs)

Signature Quest

Clusters of Serial Numbers of Factory Engraved New Model Armies (NMAs)

Prices and Serial Number Ranges of Factory Engraved New Model Armies (NMAs)

FAUL Sampler and Wishful Thinking

 

 

4.4.1

Factory Engraved New Model Armies (NMAs)

 

Confides Lesley Field, former manager of Mars Equipment, the company of Shore Galleries of Lakewood, IL, U.S.A. which in charge of the import of the Centaures from Belgium: “F.A.U.L. hired the same engravers for their factory engraved Centaures who also worked for well-known Fabrique Nationale d’Armes (F.N.) of Herstal, Belgium”.

 

D:\#12422 RNMA Presentation KO D\1-Bild1 002.jpg

4.4.1_1 Presentation-style factory engraved RNMA #12422 from 1972

 

Another U.S. source and Nadine Hanquet herself, last President of Fabriques d‘Armes Unies de Liège (F.A.U.L.) added a few more pieces of information. They should help with a better understanding of these factory engraved New Model Armies (NMAs). It was one René Delcoer (*March 28, 1930 – Jan. 14, 2012) who was deeply involved and in charge of this F.A.U.L. program as a free-lancer. Between 1963 and 1992 Delcoer worked as senior engraving instructor and lecturer at Léon Mignon l’Ecole de Gravure (Léon Mignon Engraving School) of Liège. It was at this famous school where he had learnt the art of engraving from scratch from as early as the age of 13! Only in 2000 did he retire after his 57 years career as engraver. Between 1946 and 1956 he had worked for F.N. Browning, then spent two years in the U.S.A. to learn the push graver technique, before joining F.N. again in 1858 until 1963. After his second venture with F.N. he worked as an engraving teacher at afore mentioned engraving school. Over time Delcoer developed his own engraving style as a hammer & chisel engraver. Most of his work was on shotguns and handguns like deep engraving, carving, gold inlay, animal scenes, monograms etc. One of his great challenges as a professional was the engraving of the firearms collection of Odin J. and Douglas H. Beck of Corpus Christi, TX, U.S.A. This task was two or three months each year from 1967 and lasted a couple of years.

 

Please note:

  • Factory engraved NMAs produced before 1971 are not known.
  • Factory engraved models other than the RNMAs and Marshals are unknown.
  • Factory engraved RNMAs in De Luxe, Super De Luxe and Presentation-style were seemingly embellished in clusters.
  • NMA variants with rebated cylinders only can be confirmed as factory engraved Centaures.
  • Factory engraved Centaures with barrel markings or logos are not known.

 

If and to what extend star students of Delcoer were involved in the engraving task of these Centaures still needs to be established. We strongly belief he did not do all the art-work himself.

According to German dealer catalogues and advertisements from 1972 and 73 Fabriques d’Armes Unies de Liège (F.A.U.L.) and their dealers offered two Centaure models only (!) as factory engraved variants. Both models have rebated cylinders:

  1. Regular New Model Armies (RNMAs) 5th variation 2nd sub-variation in de Luxe, Super de Luxe and Presentation grade engraving style,
  2. Marshal 1st variation 2nd sub-variation in de Luxe grade engraving style only.

 

4.4.1.1

De Luxe Grade Factory Engraved Regular New Model Armies (RNMAs)

 

The survey data tell us the De Luxe grade factory engraved RNMAs were introduced sometime in 1971. They were embellished at least until summer of 1973. However, it is very likely this factory engraving program lasted months and possibly years longer than the making of our favorite Belgian percussion revolvers. RNMAs in De Luxe grade are by far the most often discovered factory engraved variants.

De Luxe grade factory engraved RNMAs and Marshals were selected quality but taken from regular production after proof testing. This important piece of information implies that barrel markings (of the RNMAs) and the centaur logos were stamped on regular production guns after the proof testing procedure only.

 

D:\#14003 RNMA de Luxe RL D\1-P1010627.JPG

4.4.1.1_1 Highest serial number factory engraved RNMA #14003 from 1973: Note optional grip medallion, 4th version hammer, high profile front sight

 

D:\#11851 RNMA DL GD D\1-2-P1030131.RW2.JPG

4.4.1.1_2 RNMA #11851 from 1971

 

De Luxe grade factory engraved RNMAs came in high gloss polish/“in the white” aka stainless look finish with Colt-style floral hand engraving. Screws on frame and barrel lug and the wedge were blued. Oiled grips were standard, bone grips optional. Further options included silvery centaur medallions in the grip, ditto was carving of the grips available. Consecutively numbered sets are recorded, too like #13139 and #13140 discovered in France.

 

D:\#11851 RNMA DL GD D\1-1-P1030133.RW2.jpg

4.4.1.1_3 Close-up of RNMA #11851: The head of wolf engraving on hammers is typical for all factory engraved NMAs

 

“Give yourself a treat – get a Centaure safe queen”: On January 20, 2010 German FROCS #30 Lederstrumpf aka Socks took delivery of this RNMA #11850 factory engraved in deluxe grade in as new condition. She came with a display case, and Socks is another happy camper.

 

D:\#11850 RNMA DL MM D\1-P1020403.JPG

4.4.1.1_4 Socks and his new toy RNMA #11850

 

D:\#13432 RNMA de Luxe CP D\1-colt army 010.jpg

4.4.1.1_5 RNMA #13432 from 1972 fitted with bone grips and centaur medallions