210302 - Rare Antique Ethiopian GUN, with inscription , Menelik II - Ethiopia.
Extremely Rare Antique Ethiopian Gun with Ethiopian inscription, Menelik II - Ethiopia.
Frankrijk - Man. d'Armes de l'Etat - Infantry - Centerfire - GUN - 11 mm.
Fair - Barrel - Not EU deactivated
This rifle is made by the Manufacture d'Armes Tulle. Model 1874 M80. Identical numbers on the parts.
It was delivered to Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia, presumably through the famous French poet Arthur Rimbaud who lived as an arms dealer in the Ethiopian city of Harrar from 1880 to 1891.
The name of the Ethiopian owner Mezlekia Metaferia is engraved in Amharic characters throughout the barrel.
The flask has an inlaid silver coin with the image of Emperor Menelik II
The rifle is believed to have been used during the Battle of Adua, where in 1896 the Ethiopian army defeated the Italian army invading from Eritrea. As a result, Ethiopia remained the only country in Africa that has never been colonized.
The rifle was once captured and used by the Italian army, presumably during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia 1935-1941. The stock is stamped AOI (Africa Orientale Italiano). After the war, the Ethiopian government sold Italian guns to the population for protection from predators. To make it usable only for short distances, the visor was removed.
The rifle was rendered unusable in Ethiopia by a wad of lead in the barrel.