Under construction. Pictures to be added
Display Cases: Like Colt Firearms in Hartford our favorite Belgian C&B revolver maker Fabriques d’Armes Unies de Liège (FAUL) and dealers in the USA like Centennial Arms Corporation of Lincolnwood other dealers and distributors in Europe and New Zealand offered the
Centaure New Model Army C&B revolvers in display cases. Different grades were available including elaborate wooden presentation cases with two locks.
Presentation cases known to exist today were either made in English (partitioned with blue and red interior) or in French fit (contoured with dark red and green interior).
Most cased sets discovered these days, however, are not Belgian made during the 1960s or 1970s but are
aftermarket presentation boxes (above and below). Double set display cases have yet to be found.
Presentation cases could be had for single Regular New Models Armies (RNMAs), Civilian and Marshal Models. They were available with original FAUL accessories. Cases for Cavalry Models with and without shoulder stock are known. case are known
Cases for Cavalry Models with (above) and without shoulder stock are known.
During the early 1960s gifted enthusiasts took pains to display their Centaures in elaborately designed cases of their personal style (above).
Shoulder Stocks: 4-screw frame Cavalry Models could be had with shoulder stocks. They had usually matching serial numbers and were fitted to the pistol. Their serial numbers were stamped on the butt metal and the bottom tang. Some were marked MADE IN BELGIUM on the left side. Regular production shoulder stocks are known with yoke and butt plate made of brass.
These early Cavalry Models were dubbed “1st Model Centennial” by Centennial Arms Corp. of Lincolnwood, IL.
In addition to Cavalry pistols sold with shoulder stock Centennial Arms Corp. advertised separate detachable shoulder stocks as well.
During the early 1960s the target group for these separate stocks were shooters, re-enactors and collectors that felt the need for a shoulder stock after they had obtained their Centaure pistol, be that a Cavalry Model or a RNMA.
Price back then was $ 49,95. These separate stocks were not numbered, see pictures above. Some were stamped MADE IN BELGIUM on the left side of the yoke.
Powder Flasks & Cap Boxes: At the request of demanding customers FAUL added high quality powder flasks made of copper to their Centaure revolvers. These flasks were made by famous Dixon & Sons in England, see left picture and catalog.
Like the orginals from the 19th century they are stamped COLTS PATENT. Their manufacturer’s mark
DIXON & SONS
MADE IN ENGLAND
is stamped in two lines.
in three lines, see pictures of cased sets above. The previous owner of below specimen had his initials engraved into the lid.
Bullet Molds: These molds had 2 cavities for a round and a conical ball. Regular finish was blued steel but molds made of brass are known as well. Most were marked MADE IN BELGIUM.
Contrary to many Italian molds the Belgian ones featured a conical ball with grease groove.
During the early 1960s Centennial Arms Corp. advertised these steel bullet molds at $ 9,95 whereas your German dealer during the early 1970s offered them at DM 19.00.
Below are close-ups of the relatively common Belgian steel bullet molds …
… whereas below brass made molds from FAUL are rare!
… and comparing the FAUL brass and steel molds side by side:
Note CENTENNIAL ARMS CHICAGO ILL. USA and MADE IN BELGIUM markings. All mold pictures are courtesy Dennis Russell, USA.
Extra Cylinders: Were offered for Regular New Model Armies (RNMAs) of the 1st variation (rebated plain cylinder)
through US and German dealers. These extra cylinders sported either the proprietary Centaure naval scene
# like the one of the 2nd variation RNMA: marked NEW MODEL 44 between the naval scene, available through dealers in Germany and USA, see the pictures above, or the
# Colt-/Ormsby-type naval scene: like the one of the 3rd variation RNMA: available in the USA only, see left picture. The latter were marked CENTENNIAL between the scene.
The extra cylinders with the Centaure proprietary naval scene were listed in German catalogs during the early 1970s as “stock” items but were always in short supply.
Extra cylinders were individually proof tested in Liège and had their own serials on the breech side, i. e. they were not numbered to the pistol.
Lately extra cylinders of the plain and rebated variety have surfaced for RNMAs, 6th variation, 2nd sub-variation (fluted cylinder, stainless lock), and a 2nd variation, 1st sub-variation Cavalry Model from 1971.
These cylinders were properly proof marked, had either no serial number at all or were numbered on the breech side of the cylinder with a serial not matching the pistol.
Oil Bottles: Marked Sheffield England are known from cased sets.
Vent Picks & Nipple Wrenches: They are unmarked. A few were found in cased sets provided by the factory. It is not possible to trace them back to FAUL. However, one type of nipple wrenches observed was made of much harder steel then Italian wrenches. The one below on the left is assumed to be of Belgian origin.
Cleaning Kit: Even a little cleaning kit marked CENTAURE with cleaning rod and brushes was available (above right).
Original Cartons & Handling Instructions: Only a few such cartons with handling instructions have survived. Currently known cartons can be traced back to Fabriques d’Armes Unies de Liège German importer and dealer B. Harlos, Rieden, and US distributor Centennial Arms Corp., Lincolnwood.
German cartons: currently one “possible” (stiff & thick cardboard: red lid, black bottom, pink interior, above pictures), and three “confirmed” original cartons (soft & thin cardboard: reddish-brown color, below pictures)
have been reported. Contrary to the fine cartons found in the USA German ones are plain without any print. The possible and one of the confirmed specimens have primitive partitions in their lower part. The other two
confirmed German cartons have no partitions. All centaures found with cartons had the importer mark B. HARLOS RIEDEN stamped in two lines on the butt, mostly over the country of origin mark MADE IN BELGIUM.
According to interviews with first owners and other contemporary witnesses we have to conclude that most German buyers left their friendly dealers’ during the late 1960s and early 1970s with a Centaure sans carton and instructions for use.
On the other hand the Italian replicas purchased in Germany were packed early on in factory issued cartons with nice traditional print. They also came with a “how to” leaflet for the novice black powder shooter!
US cartons (below): They are much more often found than the German ones. They were made of stiff carton in Chicago for Centennial Arms Corporation. Known with blue, black and reddish-brown lids & blue, black, reddish and/or violet lower parts. Different print has been recorded. These are well-made cartons of high quality very suitable to securely pack a premium pistol.
US cartons, handling instructions & warranty slip (below): cartons or handling instructions were not numbered to the gun but a few dealers added stickers with the gun’s serials to the cartons.
The clever customer oriented pards from Centennial Arms Corporation had below handling instructions glued to the inside of the lids of their cartons.