This is a scarce example of a 11mm (44 Caliber) Army or Dragoon-sized Devisme Revolver. Apparently, Devisme built these in two sizes that would be comparable to perhaps a Colt Navy in .36 and the 1860 Army in .44 Caliber. This one is a bit larger compared to the 9 mm version. F.P. DEVISME, WAS A WELL KNOWN French MAKER OF FIREARMS AND SWORDS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY. HE PRODUCED FROM 1815 TO 1867 AND WAS LOCATED IN PARIS, FRANCE. RECEIVED GOLD MEDALS AT THE 1851 LONDON EXHIBITION AND THE PARIS EXHIBITION OF 1867. Given his reputation for advanced systems and quality work, many of Devisme's guns were owned by European Royalty and Heads of State.
During the Civil War, DEVISME SUPPLIED WEAPONS TO, AND EVIDENTLY HAD STRONG CONNECTIONS WITH THE SOUTHERN GOVERNMENT PRIOR TO AND DURING THE WAR. BOTH ROBERT E. LEE AND JOHN BELL HOOD WERE ARMED WITH SWORDS MADE BY DEVISME. ONE OF HIS MASTERPIECE'S WAS OWNED AND USED BY JEFFERSON DAVIS, PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERACY. IT WAS A LARGE (.74) BORE RIFLE, SERIAL NUMBER 10973, FIRING A DEVISME PATENT EXPLOSIVE HEAD CARTRIDGE. THIS WEAPON WAS SURRENDERED BY JEFFERSON DAVIS, TO FEDERAL TROOPS MAY 10, 1865 IN IRWINSVILLE, GEORGIA, AND NOW RESIDES IN THE SPRINGFIELD ARMORY ARMS MUSEUM IN SPRINGFIELD, MA. This particular example came from an Estate in the South where it had resided in an old collection for many years, possibly a family piece. While we have no specific history on this revolver, its period of production as a cartridge revolver would date it to the 1860's timeframe. That may not seem very impressive in today's world, but owning a .44 Caliber cartridge revolver in the 1860's was almost unheard of, particularly in America with Smith and Wesson controlling the Cartridge revolver market with the Rollin White patent ...this was state of the art in its day.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Very Good+. Metal is bright. Nice markings throughout. Barrel engraved "Devisme a Paris". 6 shot cylinder in 11mm/.44 Caliber. 6" barrel. Serial number is in the 13,500 range. Nice original condition throughout with perfect functioning mechanics. Barrel and cylinder tip downwards on a hinge located at the bottom of the frame...similar to a top break S&W except the pivot point is located at the rear of the cylinder. However, the barrel and cylinder lock up to the frame via the cylinder pin axis. An very interesting design that was well ahead of its time. Bore has 4 groove rifling and is in near perfect condition and is still bright along with the chambers.