Rock Island Auction Company
Back to Catalog
Selling: December 3, 2010

Lot 1154: Elgin Cutlass - C B Allen Cutlass

Sold for Elgin Cutlass  - C B Allen Cutlass
Full Screen
Sold For:
Rare and Historic U.S. Navy Elgin Cutlass Pistol Serial Number 58
Estimated Price: $15,000 - $25,000
Serial #Elgin Cutlass  - C B Allen Cutlass ManufacturerElgin Cutlass ModelC B Allen Cutlass
TypePistol Gauge54 Percussion Catalog Page233
Barrel5 Inch Octagonal FinishBright GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis is a rare example of one of the 150 cutlass pistols that was manufactured by C.B. Allen of Springfield, Massachusetts in 1837 for the U.S. Navy. These unique combination guns were purchased by the Navy to arm the famous Wilkes South Seas Exploring Expedition. The mission of the Wilkes Expedition was to explore and map heretofore unknown islands in the South Pacific. Elgin Cutlass Pistols were used in defense of a landing party attacked by hostile natives in the Fiji islands. On July 24, 1840, Midshipman Wilkes Henry was killed using a cutlass/pistol to cover the retreat of a landing party. The U.S. Navy Elgin Cutlass Pistol has the distinction of being the only combination gun ever issued to the U.S. military. The pistol features a massive, 11.5-inch, Bowie-type blade made by N.P. Ames. The blade has an integral trigger and knuckle guard and is attached to the underside of the smoothbore, octagon, pistol barrel by a tongue and groove with two screws. The box lock action is fitted with a one-piece walnut grip. The top barrel flat is stamped "ELGINS/PATENT" in two lines parallel to the bore followed by "CRA/PM/1837" stamped perpendicular to the bore. The left side of the frame is stamped: "C.B. ALLEN/SPRINGFIELD/MASS." in three lines. The serial number, "58" is stamped on the left barrel flat, the adjacent section of the frame and on the left side of the Bowie blade. The inspection marks, date and serial number identify this pistol as one of the 150 Elgin Cutlass/Pistols issued to the Wilkes Expedition.

ConditionVery good. The pistol is completely original as once cleaned many years ago. The action, barrel and massive Bowie-type blade have a silver-gray patina with scattered patches of age discoloration and light pitting. The bag-shaped walnut grip is in good condition with scattered, minor handling marks. The manufacturer's barrel and frame markings, the U.S. Navy inspection marks and date and the serial numbers are all sharp. The action is crisp and functions perfectly. This is a very good example of a rare and historic U.S. Navy Elgin Cutlass Pistol. This unique combination pistol would be a standout piece in the most advanced U.S. martial arms collection.
Click here to see keyboard shortcuts.
F Enters/exits full screen view for items
Esc Exits full screen view for items
Moves to previous lot, or moves to previous image if full screen view is enabled
Moves to next lot, or moves to next image if full screen view is enabled
Fully zooms the image when full screen view is enabled
Fits the entire image to the screen when full screen view is enabled


Buyer’s Premium: 17.5%

Cash Payment Discount: 2.5%

Participation Requirements: Valid Credit Card required for bidding approval. You will have the option to pay with these payment options: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Check, Money Order, Wire Transfer, and Cash.

Sales Tax: It varies each auction typically around 94% of auction items are not subject to sales tax. Read more here on sales tax.

We will contact you after the auction to arrange payment and shipping.


Premiere Auction Terms

Terms and conditions regarding Premiere Auctions. Revised : 08/29/2014


SHIPPING CHARGES. All shipping charges must be paid by the successful bidder prior to delivery of the firearm. If Rock Island Auction (RIAC) is asked to ship the purchased lots, there will be a separate charge for such shipping. Shipping charges will be based upon what it costs RIAC to ship the purchased lots to the purchaser. All items must have shipping insurance; this insurance is mandatory. RIAC will not charge any labor charges for shipping. RIAC is not liable for any acts of omissions in packaging or shipping. Purchased lots handled by outside carriers or packers, including those RIAC may have recommended, may carry their own insurance and any claims for losses or damages should be addressed directly to the outside carriers or packers. RIAC will arrange for packing and shipping at RIAC’s earliest possible convenience. RIAC will attempt to ship as soon as possible; however, due to RIAC’s high volume of absentee bids, shipping can take up to two weeks after full payment is received. In the case of crating or any exceptional packaging, the purchaser will be charged RIAC’s cost from outside agents. Purchaser pays shipping, packing materials, and insurance charges. The shipping of any purchased items outside of the United States is hereby classified as “foreign export”. All foreign export is the sole responsibility of the purchaser.