1900 King Carlos Portuguese Luger  SOLD

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This is believed to be one of two hundred fifty gun order delivered to the Portuguese and stamped with the  King Carlos I. This was a common tactic of DWM in the 1900's to place the crest of the country on their initial deliveries, begun with the Swiss, continued with the American Eagle and so on.

This is a long frame, 120mm barrel, 7.65mm Parabellum with the long sear, early extractor, dished toggles and no stock attachment characteristic of the 1900 early models.  (1089)

 

NOTE: Photographs taken today with the high mega-pixel camera show more than we sometimes can see with the human eye. Magnified close-ups show us tool marks and natural surface conditions that one normally doesn't see in the ordinary handling of the weapon.  Photographs are copyrighted, all rights reserved, any extraction, reproduction or display of gun pictures without the express consent of the Phoenix Investment Arms is strictly prohibited. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Carlos I became King on 19 October 1889. Colonial treaties with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (one signed in August 1890 that defined their African borders along the Zambezi and Congo rivers and another signed on 14 October 1899, that confirmed colonial treaties of the 17th century) stabilized the situation in Africa. These agreements were however unpopular in Portugal where they were seen as being to the disadvantage of the country.

Domestically, Portugal was twice declared bankrupt - on 14 June 1892, and again on 10 May 1902 - causing industrial disturbances, socialist and republican antagonism and press criticism of the monarchy. Carlos responded by appointing João Franco as prime minister and subsequently accepting parliament's dissolution.

As a patron of science and the arts, King Carlos took an active part in the celebration of the 500th anniversary (in 1894) of the birth of Prince Henry the Navigator. The following year he decorated the famous Portuguese poet João de Deus in a ceremony in Lisbon. Carlos took a personal interest in deep-sea and maritime exploration, publishing an account of his own studies in this area.

Carlos I of Portugual

 

It is know that there is a factory cutaway with serial numbers 204-205 but it does not bear the Crown C Ist head stamp.  The first known head stamp is number 203, then 227, 271 and now this one numbered 280.  Each example we have examined of the three we have in our possession has dissimilarities: #203 has a type II thumb safety, 271 has a type I and #280 has a type III.  None of the examples of King Carlos models had a circle triangle proof of the Portuguese. 

#280 has the serial number on the barrel parallel while the other guns it is parallel to the number on the receiver.  #271 has Crown B,U,G, proofs but we know that early DWM had two lines with one B.U.G. proofing the guns the other line wasn't. Our conclusion was this small order was pulled from production guns, sequentially numbered and Crown CI stamped.

This is the ultimate classic German Luger with the pencil thin barrel and dished toggles.  What a beautiful work of art and gun craftsmanship.

 

On 1 February 1908 the royal family returned from the palace of Vila Viçosa to Lisbon. They travelled by train to Almada and, from there, they took a steamer to cross the Tagus River and disembarked at Cais do Sodré in central Lisbon. On their way to the royal palace, the open carriage with Carlos I and his family passed through the Terreiro do Paço fronting on the river. While crossing the square, shots were fired from the crowd by two republican activists: Alfredo Costa and Manuel Buiça.

Buiça, a former army sergeant and sharpshooter, fired five shots from a rifle hidden under his long overcoat. The king died immediately, his heir, Luís Filipe, was mortally wounded, and Prince Manuel was hit in the arm. The Queen alone escaped injury. The two assassins were killed on the spot by police and bodyguards; an innocent bystander was also killed in the confusion. The royal carriage turned into the nearby Navy Arsenal, where, about twenty minutes later, the Prince Royal Luis Filipe died. Several days later, the younger son, Prince Manuel, was proclaimed King of Portugal; he was the last of the Braganza-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty and the last king as well.

 

Inside the well of the frame is the alleged "flaming bomb" early DWM stamp.  This was mistaken by early American Eagle collectors to be a US proof and has ultimately proven itself to be a DWM proof.  Note on right how the commercial Lugers all the serial numbers were "hidden" or under the sight line

 

 

Above and below you can see the gun is very clean with all the serial numbers on the trigger, squeeze grip (early narrow squeeze grip), the stop lug, the bottom of the toggle links all make this unique and rare specimen a distinctive collector's piece.

The all matching gun has a clear bottom with no proofs or numbers.

It is entirely subjective to give any Luger a rating of excellent or fine, just as it is to declare it xx% blued or strawed. Few Lugers are out of the box new and these are premium priced. Bluing percentages is like Beauty, in the eye of the beholder.  We strive to provide pictures so you can judge for yourself if the gun meets your criteria.

 

While rare is an overused word describing the Luger this particular model is in fact very rare. There are less than five of these known in collections and they were produced in a very low quantity as a sales tool to the Portuguese Government. 

 

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