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
Robar (Mre liègeoise, Robar L. & co).
Registered with the proofhouse of Liège of 1926 to 1972.
Name of the pistols manufactured:
Model Melior first (Jieffeco Replaces).
Melior 2nd model.
Liege - Inhabitant of Liège (new Melior model).
Phoenix (Name in the USA for Jieffeco).
The trade mark of JIEFFECO is present at the German catalogue ESPARTO in 1911 on the MELIOR produced by ROBAR & KERKHOVE (GA n° 305 P. 41). It acts indeed of a trade mark by JANSSEN Son & Co the 08.07.1909. JANSSEN perhaps bought the weapons in white and y affixed its mark. It was practical current especially in France.
ROBAR by Hogg
Manufactures Liégeoise d’armes à feu, Robar & Cie, Liege, Belgium.
This company began under the name of Robar & de Kerkhove and knew a whole series of renamings before being stabilized under the name of Société anonyme Robar & Cie; it is under this name that it went bankrupt in 1958, after having given up the sector of the guns for a long time.
It is with this gun which the career of Robar in the sector of the automatics began. It was created by a certain H. Rosier about 1907; the basic details were recorded in patent 24875/1908 of Rosier. It seems that this last conceded the exploitation of its patent at a company, Jannsen Fils & Cie which delegated in its turn the production in Robar. It is this bond with Jannsen which is at the origin of the odd name of the weapon.
After having marketed the 7,65 mm in 1911, the company presented one 6,35 mm almost identical in 1912. The two models were marked "Pistolet automatique Jieffeco Déposé Brevet SGDG Patent 24875.08". It is necessary to notice on this subject which the number corresponds to that of the English patent, which explains the presence of letters "SGDG" (without guarantee of the government).
The production of the model "Jieffeco" of Rosier was completed in 1914 and was not taken again any more, but in 1921, a gun bearing the same name was launched on the market. It was, in fact, "New Model Melior" of 6,35 mm which was sold for a short period under the name of "Jieffeco".
The slide of this model was marked "Automatic Pistol Jieffeco Made in Liege Belgium Brevets 259178 - 265491 Davis-warner Arms Corporation N Y"; this explains why it acted of a version of the "Melior" only intended for export and who was treated by the Davis-warner who wanted to exploit the good reputation which still the "Jieffeco" thanks to the sales carried out before the war in the United States enjoyed. David-Warner ceased any activity since 1920 and the "Jieffeco" was withdrawn from the market.
Commercial name of "New Model Melior".
Robar produced under this name a certain number of revolvers, the majority being of the models of the type "Bulldog" with box frame, with double action and provided with a rod, produced in the gauges 320, 380 and 450. II existed also a 320 version with internal strikert, of pocket, provided with a retractable trigger and bearing the same name. These models all were produced between 1895 and 1905 and they were probably abandoned when Robar started to produce the "Jieffeco".
The pistol "Jieffeco" was marketed via Jannsen Fils and Co, but although this company apparently had exclusive rights with regard to the name, it probably did not have rights identical with respect to the Patent Rosier, since Robar was able to produce and sell the same gun under the name of "Mélior".
In 1920 one introduced a completely new model called "New Model Mélior" (by extension, the Model Rosier became "Old Model"), which was produced in gauge 6,35 and 7,65mm During the following years one also introduced the gauges 22 LR and 9 mm Short, these two models presenting the same carcass as the 7,65 mm.
The "Mélior" resembles the Browning 1910 from its general aspect and its structure, but the system of assembly is completely different. The inscriptions on all New Models were the same ones: "Mélior Patents - 259178 - 2656491 - Liege - Belgique" with a round reason embossed on the handles where the names "Mélior Liege" which surrounded the monogram "Rco".
It was the version 22 LR of "New Model Mélior" which was renamed for the sale in the United States after 1945. It was imported by a company of Tacoma, Washington, "Tradewinds Inc.". On the slide the inscription "Mercury Made in Belgium" while on the handles, one distinguishes a circular reason below containing the letter "M" with the name "Liege". This weapon was produced with a variety of completions: in blue, chrome, incised and so on.
Firm of Liège L ROBAR Fils & De KERCKHOVE, 29 street Chéri.
This firm knew several corporate names of which:
ROBAR Fils & Co (Bench of test of Liége 1906/1910)
ROBAR Fils and L De KERCKHOVE (Bench of test of Liége 1910/1926)
ROBAR & Co (Bench of test of Liége 1926/1972)
The company deposited two patents concerning this weapon, the first the 04.08.1913 (n° 259.178) concerning the turntable and the second concerning the slide the 02.03.1914 jointly with TART, Edmond.
The synthesis of these patents gave two pistols of similar aspect but of different size. One calibre of them 7,65 and the other into 6,35.
The manufacture of these weapons really began only at the end from the first war, the German occupant preventing any manufacture of weapons.
These two models function into semi-automatic. The 7,65 and the 6,35 are combined in two models, one with pedal of long safety and the other with pedal of short safety.
This change intervened towards the exemplary 100.000e for the 6,35 and towards the 50.000 E For the 7,65.
The model presented in photographs below is thus first model into 7,65.
Thanks to "Collectorsfirearms" for the pictures.
Melior new mod
Many thanks to Simon for the nice pictures.
Robar model Mercury
Many thanks to "COLLECTORSFIREARMS" for the photos
Many thanks to Max for the photos.
Robar Phoenix arms
Phoenix Pocket Automatic, .25 ACP cal., semi-auto pistol. Manufactured circa 1920 by Robar et DeKerkhove in Liege, Belgium and imported by Phoenix Arms Co. in Lowell, MA. This trademark is rarely encountered.
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