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Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 334

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Description: (EARLY AUTOMATIC WEAPONRY) BENJAMIN B. HOTCHKISS
(1826 - 1885) American gunmaker who made his fortune in France manufacturing some of the earliest automatic weapons including his Hotchkiss revolving cannon (1874) which was infamouly used by the U.S. Army at the Wounded Knee Massacre. Following his death, his firm manufactured an air cooled, gas actuated machine gun widely used by French and American forces during World War I. Fine weapons-related A.L.S. 3pp. 4to. on his office letterhead, Paris, Feb. 4, 1874 to a Mr. Norris concerning a weapons contract. In very small part: "...About the £1000 my idea is that if I place the Gun in your hands it is to pay me the expenses of keeping it alive for 6 years whilst it has been resolved - not as a royalty for contracts being got at this time but for my giving up many chances to take the contract myself. I do not know the Remingtons in the matter this is a transaction between us...In your proposed agreement you want to put my gun on an equal footing with the N in all the talk and maneuvering which took place in your last 3 visits to Paris it was always said or I so understood it N-- had no chance and had been condemned by the Govt. and my gun could be [?] to go BC [?] but now at times out its chances are only to be equal you know what my views are on that point...". More good content. Weak folds repaired with tape, some toning and soiling, else very good.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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