SFM auction


#1

Whilst thumbing through an old Gazette des Armes I saw this notice announcing the sale by auction of the firearms collected by Société Française de Munitions (SFM).

A two day sale implies that the collection was an extensive one but was there also a sale and dispersal of cartridges, tooling and documents?

Happy collecting, Peter


SFM Reference Collection
#2

Seems to me that it was about then that all the various French dummies & stuff came on the U S market & that stuff was said to be from the reference collection.

Have to spent time looking through back sale lists to find a time period, but no time right now. sorry.


#3

This sale was when sfm sold all the guns collection
Hudge disaster because many very rare old guns needed special licenses most of the french people can’t have at once (and in limited quantity only).

I don’t know what happened to many of the guns but I think they were destroyed.

I don’t think there was any ammo in this sale.

Ammo was sold later by the guy in charge of expertising and sorting the ammo collection (and manufactured items in inventory)


#4

Didn’t Buttweiler auction part of the SFM cartridge reference collection? I’ll have to find my old catalogs.


#5

Buttweiler came away with a lot of this reference collection. I don’t remember how but much ended up in the sale catalogue and other items sold in private.


#6

Buttweiler sold a lot of sfm ctges coming from the ctges reference collection indeed.
But what you have to understand is the meaning of “reference” collection.

It was not one ctge of each type !
But one box (more or less full) of each ctge type

And you had also about all the old ctges which were in inventory, either as finished ctges either as components (cases on one side, bullet on the other side)
jp


#7

There were also draw sets, partial and complete. I have a coupld of them in my own collection that came from the “basement” of SFM. JP is right about cases and bullets - I also have examples of a couple of scarce items that are primed case and separate bullet, never loaded of assembled.


#8

I was under the impression most of what came into the US was via Brenard Malric, who was then living in Canada, & that RTB, got his sale items from him.
For whatever that is worth.

Also boxes came in as J-P notes, but I think some were not full or mostly full, but some with just with a few very examples.


#9

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]I was under the impression most of what came into the US was via Brenard Malric, who was then living in Canada, & that RTB, got his sale items from him.
For whatever that is worth.

Also boxes came in as J-P notes, but I think some were not full or mostly full, but some with just with a few very examples.[/quote]

Bernard Malric bought at the end of the different private sales a lot of the remaining ctges ctges mostly rim fires.
I don’t think Buttweiler bought ctges from him, but rather before Malric bought the remaining staff.
you are right, some boxes had only few samples inside.
jp


#10

Rob brought his lot in directly from France. He published a limited edition of the really rare items for private sale. I have a copy and will copy it at some point in the future.


#11

This ad refers to the sale of the Weapon collection only, not any cartridge.
It was effectively a disaster, as many of the items sold were “expertised” (sic) by a Mr. Venner, a guy who had no specific knowledge (he was mostly known as prolific writer of "sensation articles"in some gun magazines) about what he was dealing with…

For instance, he thought that a DAUDETEAU unique prototype rifle, (they were around 7 Daudeteau of varied models and calibre in the lot…) engraved “Metford” for “Metford rifling” referred to a “Lee- Metford”, i.e. a gun still classified under the French law of the time (the French laws on weapons were always absurd and rather inexact, -edicted without very precise knowledge by obscure "ministery individuals, I would rather say “rats!”-, and extremely repressive, by the way still are…)
So the beautiful Daudeteau, as many of others , had to be de-activated and pierced, I would say more exactly ruined…

The same fate happened to a quantity of old weapons, for instance a huge collection of Mauser rifles from any country (including a 6,8 mm chinese model, a.s.o.).
In the last part of the XIXth century, SFM acquired for its reference collection almost every rifle or hand guin available. They were nicely stored in beautiful cabinets in a special building. During the German occupation,the collection survived, nobody knows exactly how, and probably to some kind of heavenly miracle, but it did not escape its sad fate with the closing of the Factory 50 years after…

Some of the best specimens were bought by foreign dealers or investers, like Peter Petrusic from W. Germany, but he was called too late, and many had been already ruined…,Speaking about the whole, it was, as I said before, a great patrimonial loss for our country…

The sale of the cartridge collection has strictly NOTHING to do with the weapon auction, as it was never auctionned, and the best part is still in France in secluded collections, also in the US (Bill Woodin).

The stock obtained by RTB covered only what was left, a very huge quantity of not so rare items indeed.

As noticed before, the best ones were expertised by some of our friends, called on the spot, when the Direction decided to get rid of it, but it must be said that the Ammunitiion Collection was considerable.

Here is another exemple of absurdity in the French regulations: the gun collection of the St Cyr Coetquidan Officers School (it corresponds to West Point) contains some interesting specimens, amidst them is a scarce “Treuille de Beaulieu lance-rifle”, of Napoleon the IIId vintage, which was demilitarised by piercing huge holes in the chamber and barrel in the late sixties, when the contry, under DeGaulle went through problems due to the end of the Algerian affair…!
We supposed that they should have also “neutralised” hacquebuts, arbaletes and trunions, if they had got the occasion to do it…!

Phil.


#12

Rob brought home some very rare items. Your information is somewhat in error.


#13

As Philippe told you, Buttweiller bought the left over , meaning what was still there after the french people had finished to do their shopping.

Same story about the rim fire ctges bought by Malrik.

JP


#14

You are all welcome to believe what you like. I saw what he brought to the US and have a photo catalogue of the items which were sold privately. I passed on the sale as other items were of more interest to me.

Left overs ? ; I doubt.


#15

[quote=“DrSchmittCSAEOD”]You are all welcome to believe what you like. I saw what he brought to the US and have a photo catalogue of the items which were sold privately. I passed on the sale as other items were of more interest to me.

Left overs ? ; I doubt.[/quote]

What can i add ??
I told you what I know, Philippe told you the same.
Two other french guys who are on this forum can confirm the story I am sure; including the one who was in charge of selling the items for SFM

Show us photos of some very rare items and i will tell you what i think about them.
JP


#16

Being officially involved in the history of the sale of the cartridges collection from Gévelot/SFM , I believe I am able to give the exact version of the history.
At the beginning of the 1980’s , I have had the opportunity to enter the sanctuary of the old house of Issy les Moulineaux . During four or five years, one afternoon every week and summer holidays I was immersed in the collection of factory drawings, exploring the old attics in the workshops , and discovering one by one the drawers of the collection room. Needless to say that what I have been living was the dream of every cartridge collector. Mid 1980’s , the managing staff and investors decided to sell half of the land plant corresponding to 4 ha . Understand that the factory being in the center of the town of Issy les Moulineaux , it was already a juicy operation! Second, a very big and useless collection of obsolete fire arms was stored in the shooting range building; it was decided to get read of it and the first two days sale was organized in September 1987. As said Philippe, the incompetence of the expert brought to be demilitarized unique fire arms. A few of the best weapons were offered to friends or kept by the investors; the rest took the path auction. A second sale offered one year later the rest of the collection of fire arms.
One useless collection was still in the factory: the reference collection of cartridges. This collection was composed in fact of 2 collections. The first one was the factory dummies whose destination at the time was to make commercial cartridge boards for retailers , administrations , presents, salesmen, special orders and exhibitions. Know that all along the life of the factory, I would say mid 1870 to 1980, more than 150 variations of Gévelot/SFM cartridge boards were realized ! some being unique , some made at a maximum of 50 samples.The second collection was composed of factory loaded cartridges generally factory experiments , obsolete calibers dating of the Fabrique Gévelot , in which I found for instance rolled case gatlings and Nordenfeld, Claxton, very early drawn cases of the 1870’s; foreign made cartridge samples sent by customers with their orders; cartridges or boxes bought abroad to copy or compare the shooting results. …A huge quantity of drawers was to explore !
In 1988, I have been asked to inventory and put on the collection market the all lot, the aim was to make a maximum of money and to satisfy all the specific collectors with whom I could make business. My first action was to offer specific calibers to collectors of their country of origin. For instance French cartridges to French collectors with whom I had a better chance to make good sales… or American cartridges and rim fires to American ones.It is the reason why RTB entered the game.He flew over and passed two days at the factory , making a selection of what could be the best for the American market….Auction and close relations!
The rest (80%) was offered all along the years 1988/1989 in the different French and international gun shows, exhibitions, meetings.
The rest of the rest ! was bought by B. Malric. Early 1990 the all collection was sold
The last word, during my inventory, I had the idea to create a collection of the factory production all along its existence, calibers , loading variations , draw sets, packets and boxes… with the aim of making a small museum inside the factory. I know that before the factory closing, some employees carried away this collection of sometimes unique specimens and sold it to people from AFERHM and ECRA


#17

Thank you.


#18

In Gazettes des Armes No175 p27-31 there is a report by Jean Houn on the sale of the SFM firearms collection. It would seem that he was ‘greatly astonished’ of the judgments concerning the categorisation of the Daudeteau rifles at least.


Happy collecting, Peter


#19

You were right.
I didn’t know the US ctges were offered to RTB before we had access to them.

Therefore I am very interested to see a copy of your photo catalogue of the items sold privately by RTB (not the items shown in his public catalogues)

Thanks
JP


#20

[quote=“stuka222”]
Some of the best specimens were bought by foreign dealers or investers, like Peter Petrusic from W. Germany, but he was called too late, and many had been already ruined…,Speaking about the whole, it was, as I said before, a great patrimonial loss for our country…

Phil.[/quote]

Yes Phil, indeed, i bought quit a lot of guns, but it was a hard work, to get all the export licenses…only with the help of a good girl -which worked later for the DGA- I got my licenses in a considerable timeframe. I am still unhappy with me, not have invested more money in that deal…but money was rare then and still is today…
I kept some Mauser-Daudeteau Rifles and the Nr.1 Mauser rifle of the serbian kingdom…the rest unfortunatally sold…

Thx for all
PP (Forensic)