A Treatise on the Robert Rifle by the Count of Langel
I recently picked up a Robert rifle and of course had to find as many books with original source documentation in them as I could. The first and most unique is from a small book with 143 pages written by the Count of Langel that focuses on various topics relevant to hunters in the 1830s.
He devotes about two chapters in the book to this gun and speaks so highly of it that a couple of times I almost felt like I was reading a love letter from The Count to Robert. He gives the following introduction:
For twenty years I have bought all the new guns, I have tried all the systems, and my cabinet resembles more a museum of artillery than that of an amateur hunter; therefor in giving preference to the Robert system, I did not decide by theory, but by great and long experience. I have been using the Robert rifle daily for four years. I am so satisfied with it, that I do not think I can devote the pages of this work to a subject more useful and more agreeable to my readers, than the description of this remarkable weapon. I will take the liberty of adding to it the result of the observations that I have been able to make in his practice.
There are two editions of this book. The second edition was printed in Brussels, Belgium in 1838 and is the green variation shown above. The first edition was printed two years prior, in Paris, and in addition to the red color, has a couple of key differences.
One of the main differences in the first edition is that it has a really beautiful, full-page, color ad for the Robert gun just a few pages in.
This drawing shows “costumes for hunting with hounds and pointing dogs” along with the marketing points for the Robert gun. He mentions his 3 medals the gun has won as well as the main marketing point that the gun shoots 15-shots a minute.
This image was actually first published on 31 July 1836 in the Journal des Dames et des Modes which was an early French fashion magazine that published an issue every 5 days with a drawing or two in each issue; mainly of women’s fashion, but occasionally of men and even less often with a gun.
They featured Robert guns again a year later in the 5 September 1837 issue but then, only 10 days later, he switched to a Lefaucheux!
Later in the Count’s book there are multiple extracts from various write-ups about the Robert gun and general overviews of how the gun works.
The first edition again sets itself apart by having a fold-out drawing of the Robert guns and cartridges.
The rest of the 26 pages devoted to this gun can be viewed below!
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