Some of the most beautiful work of this craftsman, and many others, are in this book “Liège Gunmakers through their Work. 1800 - 1950”.

For more detail see: LIEGE GUNMAKERS

Decortis Gilles

Here is a long weapon belonging to the Remington Rolling Block system "put in Liège sauce". I assume the lever on the right is for disassembling the weapon into two pieces.

Peron : inspection since 1853

S under star : controller's countermark between 1877 and 1968

FDC crossed by an arrow to the right : maybe François Dumoulin (active since 1870 according to a French source) or François Dumoulin et Cie, but I have serious doubts because :

1° according to the same French source, the mark of François Dumoulin registered in 1881 is an arrow to the right crossing the letters DDF (and thus not FDC as here);

2° the company François Dumoulin et Cie was registered on the proofhouse from 1908 to 1968, which does not correspond with the following marking:

GD in English letters: in principle Gilles Decortis de Cheratte, who filed eight patents between 1851 and 1875, none relating to the device in question. Jarlier/Buigné places its period of activity between 1856 and 1887.

So nothing is certain, just the opposite.

GP with HPH and MD

Decortis Gilles

Total length 313 mm

Gun length 153 mm

Cal 9 mm percussion

Barrel with 6 rooms


In two places, on the curvature of the back of the grips and on the barrel, the inscription “Decortis breveté”, arranged in oval form.

Punch Y under the crown.

No markings on either the skelet of the grips or the wood of the plates.

How it works:

The barrel is fixed to the axis of the cylinder by a long, bent lever that is screwed in several turns.

In the closed position, the lever completes its travel by positioning itself under the cylinder, the elbow of the lever following the curve of the trigger guard.

On the carcass, behind the cylinder, there is a notch of sight.

The hammer is deported to the right of this notch of view and comes to strike the chimney obliquely.

It works only in single action with 2 arming notches.

The cylinder has a curious form of diabolo.

The tamper is placed under the barrel, at its end it is held to the barrel by a small spring-loaded bolt. The lever travel is horizontal, it swivels to the left.

Pierre A.

Gilles Decortis

The weapon

Marked G. Decortis on each chamber of the cylinder.

An extraordinary mechanism!!

Pulling the small round handle upwards and rearwards causes the breech to open in one of the chambers, and allows the cylinder to turn freely. Closing the mechanism causes the whole system, which includes an internal firepin, to push the ammunition home into the chamber that is in alignment with the barrel.

A small loading gate is located ahead of the cylinder.

The external hammer does not strike anything at all and has no other function than cocking an internal hammer similar to those found in automatic pistols.

Central fire, overall length 110 cm, barrel length 62 cm, bore diameter 13.3 mm


The manufacturer

Made by Gilles DECORTIS, gunmaker at Cheratte

He applied for 8 patents between 1851 and 1875, in particular for a breechloading needle rifle and its modifications, as well as a luxury rifle system and a military model.

DE BYLAND (if i red correctly) unknown to me (Belgian? I do not believe)

Could Michel tell us more on basis of the patents he has on hand ?


I start in the disorder:

- I know the count Alexandre de Bylandt, of Chastre-Villeroux (commune of St-Géry) in the province of Brabant

He applied for a number of patents (13 in total) between 1857 and 1895. In my opinion, he was not just "a" gunmaker, but I lack more details about his life. I've got only a copy of one of his patents, however without any illustrations.


Many thanks to the "ROYAL ARMY MUSEUM" Bruxelles and especially the section "ARMES PORTATIVE".

(N° identification : F127/175sup Collection of "Comte de Ribaucourt")

Photos Littlegun


This is probably a pocket gun of the REMINGTON Rolling-block type .

However I have some reservation since I have examined the gun only on photographs.


We have the Liege Proof House stamps, i.e:

STAR/ ELG in a crowned oval: acceptance - used 1846 to 1893.

STAR/Z : countermark of the controller - used of 1877 to 1968.

The manufacturer

It's not the first time that I see this mark CROWN/JJ ,but without being able to identify it.

The gun having been manufactured between 1877 and 1893, we have several possibilities :

- JACQUEMART J & Son mentioned by the registration of a patent in 1869.

- JAMAR J.J.B. 16,Boulevard d' Avroy, in Liege who registered 7 patents from 1888 to 1892.

- JAMAR-SCHMIDTS Jean Henri, 5 rue Jolivet, in Liege (Proof House 1874/1895)

- JASPAR J from Liege, 6 patents from 1861 to 1867.

- JULIEN Joseph, 5 patents from 1865 to 1876.


As you can see the range of possibilities is very broad and the marks of these above arms manufacturers, provided they had one , are not known for us.


The frame also bears a mark which could be that of DECORTIS, but it remains to be proven.

Finally even while being certain of this name, it will still be necessary to choose between several DECORTIS arms manufacturers who worked at the same time :


DECORTIS J Fils (PH-1877/1884)

DECORTIS Adolphe 5 rue d' Omalius, 5in Liege - 7 patents 1876 to 1904.

DECORTIS François from Sarolay-Argenteau. 4 patents 1863 to 1866.

DECORTIS Gilles from Cheratte.8 patents 1851 to 1875.

DECORTIS-FRAIKIN Gustave from Cheratte.6 patents 1881 to 1891.

DECORTIS Henri from Liege, 1 patent in 1857.

DECORTIS J from Argenteau, a patent in 1860.

There too the choice is difficult in the absence of more information.