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NORDENFELT, Thorsten.

The Nordenfelt Machine Guns described in Detail and compared with other Systems;

also their Employment for Naval and Military Purposes.

Published: Portsmouth: Griffin & Co., 1884

Stock code: 87744

Price: £1,875

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First edition. Extremely uncommon promotional publication for Nordenfelt’s guns; “When I commenced to write this treatise upon Machine Guns it was my intention to endeavour to give an unbiassed opinion about this subject in general; but I soon found it impossible to avoid comparisons, and I have therefore thought it better to give my own views, ‘sans peur et sans reproche,’ as to how perfect Machine Guns should be constructed …” (Preface). In Nordenfelt had migrated from Sweden to England in 1866 and established a company trading Swedish steel for finished rails. In 1875 he met the inventor Helge Palmkrantz who had recently patented a multi-barrel, lever-actuated, machine gun, became his backer and British agent, and persuaded Palmkrantz to name the gun the Nordenfelt Machine Gun. Subsequently Nordenfelt was pressured by Rothschild and Vickers to merge with Maxim, in 1888 becoming The Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company. Personally bankrupt two years later Nordenfelt was forced out of the company, and moved to France where he set up the Société Nordenfelt, developing the eccentric screw breech used on the French 75. He was further pursued by the Maxim company in connection with a contractual non-competition clause and retired to Sweden in 1903.

Quarto (300 238 mm). Near contemporary dark brown half morocco and light brown pebble-brained cloth, title gilt direct to the spine, low bands with a dotted roll, gilt, double rules to the compartments, that at the tail of the spine with the crests of the Library of the Parliament of New South Wales, as also to the upper board, marbled edges and endpapers. 53 plates. Just a little rubbed, some foxing throughout, but overall very good.

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