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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Set out below is an edited extract from my finished Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association article for anyone interested in these tiny pistols.

I must pay tribute to the work of Ed Buffaloe and Dr Stefan Klein as well as Ian McCollum’s Forgotten Weapons for both information and inspiration.

Any errors, however, are my own!


Analysis of a sample of 100 4.25mm Menz Liliput pistols

Slide Marking
Number observed
Lowest serial number noted
Highest serial number noted
Modell 1925​
28​
318​
2331​
Modell 1926​
27​
2161​
4112​
Modell 1927​
42​
4277​
70xx*​
Modell I​
3​
7260​
7408​
*The final two digits were redacted in the Ader auction particulars.

Factory finishes of the same sample

Slide Marking
Blue
Nickel
Gold
Modell 1925​
9 (32%)​
17 (60%)​
2 (8%)​
Modell 1926​
19 (70%)​
8 (30%)​
0 (0%)​
Modell 1927​
33 (79%)​
6 (14%)​
3 (7%)​
Modell I​
3 (100%)​
0 (0%)​
0 (0%)​
All models
64 (64%)​
31 (31%)​
5 (5%)​


Serial numbering of each new model

This seems to have followed sequentially from that of the previous model.

The only exception discovered in the sample was serial number 2331 (the engraved, gold-washed Modell 1925 at RIA (2016), Lot 1391) since serial numbers 2161, 2166, 2178 and 2305 were all Model 1926 pistols.


Production numbers

It appears that about 2,000 of each of the Modell 1925 and Modell 1926 pistols were manufactured whereas the number of Modell 1927 pistols was in the region of 3,000.

Production of the 4.25mm Modell I may only have been a couple of hundred guns. It is perhaps unlikely that many of these pistols would have been made after promulgation of the new German gun registration laws of 14 April 1928 since the gunmakers’ newspaper, Waffenschmied, later reported Menz’s announcement that these laws had forced it to focus on producing gas pistols (Klein & Buffaloe).

Despite the new laws the Menz factory successfully designed and sold numerous new 6.35mm and 7.65mm self-loading pistols until the loss of a court case concerning similarities between the Menz PB Spezial and the Walther PPK led to the whole of the Menz business being sold to Theodor Bergmann in 1938 (Buffaloe).


Factory finishes

The proportion of standard blued pistols appears to have increased after the first year of production. There was also a notable concentration of nickelled Modell 1925 pistols in the 300 to 1300 range.

Of the 31 nickelled pistols, 23 had cream coloured grip plates and 7 had standard black grip plates. Only serial number 2747 had smooth pearl grip plates with medallions near the bottom rather than the top and may be post-factory replacements (Paul-Bert-Serpette).

Serial number 2331 had gold-washed light scroll engraving (RIA (2016), Lot 1391) whereas serial numbers 1314 (Hermann Historica, Lot 5294), 4429 (iCollector, Lot 3220), 4434 (GunHeritage, item B490) and 4450 (Klein & Buffaloe) had more elaborate gold-washed oak leaf engraving. All 5 appeared to be factory finished and had cream coloured grip plates.

Serial numbers 1886 (RIA (2017), Lot 3511) and 6003 (Christies, Lot 89) have been counted as blued guns since they had black grips, underlying blued metal and what appeared be post-factory gold embellished or plated atypical engraving styles.

Since factory engraved, gold-washed Liliput Menz pistols are much more likely to have been preserved and published, it may well be that only a very few were made despite 5 appearing in a sample of 100 pistols.


References and acknowledgements


Ader, catalogue (drouot.com) (page 30)
Buffaloe, E., The Menz PB Special (unblinkingeye.com)
Christies, A RARE 4.25mm LILIPUT SELF-LOADING VEST POCKET PISTOL WITH GOLD-INLAID ORNAMENT
GunHeritage, B490 Gold engraved Liliput Model 1927 4.25 mm pistol | Supica Gun Heritage.
Hermann Historica, Hermann Historica.
iCollector, Rare Factory Engraved Gold Plated August Menz Liliput Model 1927 Semi-Automatic Pistol,
Klein, S. & Buffaloe, E., History of August Menz (unblinkingeye.com)
Paul-Bert-Serpette, Pistolet Liliput, calibre 4,25, acier et nacre, Autriche, 1926 | Paul Bert Serpette
RIA (2016), www.rockislandauction.com/detail/68/1391/scarce-engraved-and-gold-washed-menz-liliput-vest-pocket-pistol.
RIA (2017), Menz August - Liliput 1925 Pistol Gold Plated | Rock Island Auction


© Stephen R Beresford
 

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Some time ago I also collected information about the 4.25mm Liliput.

They are in German, but it should not be too difficult to interpret them.

Alexander

SNTypBemerkungen
1Modell 1927Verkaufsinserat DWJ 7/99
9Beschriftung: FABRIQUE D’ARMES A’DUPONT LIEGE; belgische Beschusszeichen; gemäss Joe Schroeder hat Menz verschiedentlich „private label“ guns hergestellt; Auto Mag 1/97 S. 241
426Modell 1925keine Züge; Medaillon: „4,25“ grösser als gewöhnlich, kein Eichenlaub; Luzern 2000, Privatsammlung
926Modell 1925Medaillon: „4,25“ grösser als gewöhnlich, kein Eichenlaub;Gun Collector‘s Digest 1, S.40
1343Modell 1925Vernickelt; österreichischer Beschuss von 1926; Hermann-Historica 10-10
1483Modell 1925vernickelt (?); SWM 9/87
1599?Gun Collector‘s Digest 1, S.40
1634Modell 1925Vollgravur; z.T. mit Gold eingelegt; Elfenbeingriffschalen mit Emblem, mit Zügen, The Gun Report 6/01
1669Modell 1925GERMANY auf Schlitten linkd; Hermann-Historica 10-11
23X1(?)Modell 1926König/Hugo, Taschenpistolen, S.84
2331Modell 1926Hermann-Historica 10-10
2845Modell 1926Luzern 1999
3061Modell 1926GERMANY (l); Classic arms and militaria 5/94
3667Modell 1926mit Zügen; Privatsammlung
3958Modell 1926SWM 9/87
4027Modell 1926vernickelt, mit Zügen; Luzern 1999
4131Modell 1927vernickelt; mit Zügen; weisse Kunststoffgriffschalen (mit „gelbstich“, offensichtlich kein Elfenbein); “R“ auf dem Griffstück hinten unterhalb des Schlittens; Waffen-Galerie Keller 5.1.02
4755Modell 1927K/N und Wienerbeschuss von 1928; Dorotheum 9-11
4962Modell 1927Waffen-Digest 88, S.74
4986Modell 1927mit Zügen; Lausanne 1997
5161Modell 1927Hermann-Historica 10-09
510XModell 1927GERMANY (l); weisse Griffschalen; Hogg, Pistolen und Revolver, S.78
5322Modell 1927GERMANY (l), Zeichnung, keine Fotographie!; Zhuk/Brukner, Revolver und Pistolen, S. 116
5475Modellvernickelt; eigene Sammlung
6261Modell ?GERMANY (l); Mathews, Firearms, Bd.2, S.3
6393Modell 1927ohne Züge; GERMANY (l); Wangen a.A. 2000
6828Modell 1927ohne Züge; GERMANY (l); eigene Sammlung
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some time ago I also collected information about the 4.25mm Liliput.

They are in German, but it should not be too difficult to interpret them.

Alexander

SNTypBemerkungen
1Modell 1927Verkaufsinserat DWJ 7/99
9Beschriftung: FABRIQUE D’ARMES A’DUPONT LIEGE; belgische Beschusszeichen; gemäss Joe Schroeder hat Menz verschiedentlich „private label“ guns hergestellt; Auto Mag 1/97 S. 241
426Modell 1925keine Züge; Medaillon: „4,25“ grösser als gewöhnlich, kein Eichenlaub; Luzern 2000, Privatsammlung
926Modell 1925Medaillon: „4,25“ grösser als gewöhnlich, kein Eichenlaub;Gun Collector‘s Digest 1, S.40
1343Modell 1925Vernickelt; österreichischer Beschuss von 1926; Hermann-Historica 10-10
1483Modell 1925vernickelt (?); SWM 9/87
1599?Gun Collector‘s Digest 1, S.40
1634Modell 1925Vollgravur; z.T. mit Gold eingelegt; Elfenbeingriffschalen mit Emblem, mit Zügen, The Gun Report 6/01
1669Modell 1925GERMANY auf Schlitten linkd; Hermann-Historica 10-11
23X1(?)Modell 1926König/Hugo, Taschenpistolen, S.84
2331Modell 1926Hermann-Historica 10-10
2845Modell 1926Luzern 1999
3061Modell 1926GERMANY (l); Classic arms and militaria 5/94
3667Modell 1926mit Zügen; Privatsammlung
3958Modell 1926SWM 9/87
4027Modell 1926vernickelt, mit Zügen; Luzern 1999
4131Modell 1927vernickelt; mit Zügen; weisse Kunststoffgriffschalen (mit „gelbstich“, offensichtlich kein Elfenbein); “R“ auf dem Griffstück hinten unterhalb des Schlittens; Waffen-Galerie Keller 5.1.02
4755Modell 1927K/N und Wienerbeschuss von 1928; Dorotheum 9-11
4962Modell 1927Waffen-Digest 88, S.74
4986Modell 1927mit Zügen; Lausanne 1997
5161Modell 1927Hermann-Historica 10-09
510XModell 1927GERMANY (l); weisse Griffschalen; Hogg, Pistolen und Revolver, S.78
5322Modell 1927GERMANY (l), Zeichnung, keine Fotographie!; Zhuk/Brukner, Revolver und Pistolen, S. 116
5475Modellvernickelt; eigene Sammlung
6261Modell ?GERMANY (l); Mathews, Firearms, Bd.2, S.3
6393Modell 1927ohne Züge; GERMANY (l); Wangen a.A. 2000
6828Modell 1927ohne Züge; GERMANY (l); eigene Sammlung
Fantastic! Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Hi Alexander

Could you help on "keine Züge"/"mit Zügen "? Google Translate gives me "trains" (as in locomotives). Does this mean "rifling" or something else?

My access to Hermann-Historica catalogues only goes back to October 2011 and I assume this one from your list must be before that date:

2331Modell 1926Hermann-Historica 10-10

I find that a really interesting one since it's the strange one in my list that seems to be a 1926 range serial number but had a 1925 marked slide by the time it was auctioned in the US in 2016: www.rockislandauction.com/detail/68/1391/scarce-engraved-and-gold-washed-menz-liliput-vest-pocket-pistol

Best wishes

Stephen
 

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Stephen

"keine Züge" means no rifling (and you are right: Züge means also trains in German... :) ).

Regarding SN 2331: I have no explanation, maybe I made a mistake and copied the number from the HH-auction incorrectly...

Alexander
 

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Stephen

I have found the SN 2331 - it's really a Modell 1926

Alexander

Artikel / Informationen
ZIVILE KURZWAFFEN MODERNE SYSTEME - DEUTSCHLAND
Los Nr.540
Menz "Liliput" Mod. 1926 im Kaliber 4,25 mm,
Nr. 2331. Nummerngleich. Lauf matt. Achtschüssig. Beschuss Krone/"N". Links am Schlitten bezeichnet "LILIPUT KAL. 4,25 / Modell 1926". Originale Brünierung mit geringen Tragespuren. Fehlerlose schwarze Hartgummigriffschalen mit Medaillons. Magazin. Nahezu neuwertige Erhaltung.
Erwerbsscheinpflichtig.
Zustand: I-Limit: 300 EURO
Währungsrechner / Currency converter
Zuschlag
750 EURO​



 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Stephen

I have found the SN 2331 - it's really a Modell 1926

Alexander


Artikel / Informationen
ZIVILE KURZWAFFEN MODERNE SYSTEME - DEUTSCHLAND
Los Nr.540
Menz "Liliput" Mod. 1926 im Kaliber 4,25 mm,
Nr. 2331. Nummerngleich. Lauf matt. Achtschüssig. Beschuss Krone/"N". Links am Schlitten bezeichnet "LILIPUT KAL. 4,25 / Modell 1926". Originale Brünierung mit geringen Tragespuren. Fehlerlose schwarze Hartgummigriffschalen mit Medaillons. Magazin. Nahezu neuwertige Erhaltung.
Erwerbsscheinpflichtig.
Zustand: I-Limit: 300 EURO
Währungsrechner / Currency converter
Zuschlag
750 EURO​



Alexander, thank you so much for finding that photo!

It seems to me that the stamping of the serial number is slightly different on each receiver so there really were two of these pistols with exactly the same number - the one you found and the RIA one I referenced: www.rockislandauction.com/detail/68/1391/scarce-engraved-and-gold-washed-menz-liliput-vest-pocket-pistol

It's not credible that someone might swap a 1926 slide for a 1925 slide and then carefully engrave the mixed gun to match a factory gold-washed engraved pistol! I also think it's unlikely that Menz restarted the Modell 1926's (or later models) at serial number 1 since the other 99 of my 100 sample all fit neatly in order.

Unless someone can shed some further light on this, I guess it'll remain one of those unexplained anomalies that gun collectors occasionally see.

Thanks again

Stephen
 
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