Maets Rifle

Circa 1897
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Price $990 Available

  • Rifle & Stand 13.6 lbs 42” W x 12” H x 7” D
  • Gun only 8.6 lbs


Steam powered weapon designed by Bernard Maets.  Mr. Maets specialized in a wide variety of weapons and tools using steam as the primary energy source.  Maets worked in his Wisconsin laboratory/shop from 1878 to 1907.

Type and Function:

Designed for long range firing, possibly as a sniper weapon, this weapon is one in a series of rifles designed by Maets.  The wooden stock is not original, but dates to the early sixties.  The burn on the stock is assumed to be from a failed test firing. Note the cocking action of the piece, which is considered to be unusual for a Maets’ weapon.

Recovery Site:

The rifle was carried out of Tibet by the monks traveling with the Dalai Lama in 1959 as they ran from the Chinese. Why it was in the Dalai Lama’s possession is unknown. In the mid 1960’s it was sold by a monk to an art dealer to raise much needed funds.  It exchanged hands several times before being acquired by the Maets Foundation in 1976 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Back Story:

Learn how the Dalai Lama figures into the history of the Maets Rifle

Principal Investigator:

This object has been recovered, studied and restored by Ed Kidera. Discover the reality


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