from the collection of
Tony Orr
  The Paris Life Protector  
This well preserved piece belongs to the family of vintage handguns known as "puppy" revolvers, which are generally smaller cousins to the well-known 'bulldog' short-barrel side-arms. Puppies generally have folding triggers with no guard, to fit in the waist-coat pocket or lady's purse rather than a trouser-pocket or holster, and are usually .38-calibre or less, whereas Bulldogs are invariably .44 or .450. This particular piece is something of an enigma, however. It is undeniably 'puppy' in style, but 'bulldog' in nature, being chambered for Eley's .44 Bulldog cartridge!
.450 Muzzle
Although the 170-grain lead bullet over perhaps 15-grains of black powder is rather anaemic by today's standards, it is nevertheless quite a handful in such a small piece!
The gun itself is rather a high-grade example of the Belgian trade, being completely nickel-plated with the exception of the hammer, trigger, and ejector-rod assembly, which are gold-plated! Very sensible to prevent corrosion from use with black-powder, of course. All available surfaces are covered in a very fine, ornate vine engraving, very elegant indeed. ...but what really tops-off this splendid little gun are the chunky genuine-ivory grips!
Vine Engraving
Cylinder Engraving
Engraved on the top-strap we find the raison d'etre for the existence of this marvellous example of the gun-maker's art:
Top Strap Engraving
Imagine the look of surprise as some dance-hall mademoiselle produced this wicked little item from her garter to ward-off a hostile advance!
Those were the days!