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Auction Date: December 2, 2011

Lot 1868: Smith & Wesson - Registered Magnum

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Custom Engraved Gold Inlaid Pre-War Smith & Wesson Registered 357 Magnum Revolver with Holster, Carved Ivory Grips and Factory Letter
Estimated Price: $12,000 - $20,000
Item Views 256 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Smith & Wesson - Registered Magnum ManufacturerSmith & Wesson ModelRegistered Magnum
TypeRevolver Gauge357 Magnum Catalog Page113
Barrel3 1/2 Inch Solid Rib FinishBlue GripIvory
Stock ClassCurio & Relic Handgun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis is an attractive and interesting example of a custom engraved Smith & Wesson Registered 357 Magnum pistol with great American history. The pistol was engraved in Germany, the consignor notes, by Otto Bach, and is signed on bottom of frame "Waffenbach, Munich". Sent to S&W after engraving for bluing as marked under the left grip 5-47 (May 1947). The outstanding carved-ivory magna grips were cut match the engraving scrolls on the gun itself, and are fitted with with sterling silver butt-plates. Property of, and engraved for, Robert T. Lippincott, of Philadelphia PA and Delran, NJ., of the famous Lippincott publishing family, which immigrated from England & Scotland in the late 1600's. A genuine legendary American figure, both in the publishing industry and in the sailing sports (as a manufacturer and racer of sailboats), a champion shooter of the pre-WW II period who also served as NRA director. The revolver is masterfully decorated with almost full coverage of of floral vine and leaf designs with a punch dot background. The right rear of the frame has a crest and banner which consists of five ostrich feathers sprouting out of a mural coronet over a shield with three "dogs" over a banner which reads "SECUNDIS DUBIISQUE RECTUS" over the initials "R.T.L.", all in gold-inlay. The Latin inscription is the motto of the British Navy vessel, HMS Duncan, and when translated reads, "Upright both in prosperity and in peril". Standard barrel markings in panels and the frame markings removed at the time of engraving. The serial number is marked on the butt followed by a five point star. The 5,4000+ Registered Magnums made between 1935 and 1939 are virtually custom made revolvers and remain "state of the art" in handgun manufacture today. When Smith & Wesson assigned model numbers to all of their models, the Registered Magnum became the Model 27. This revolver Reg. # 4389, is fitted with a King's 1/10" red post blade front sight on a reflector ramp and adjustable King 112 white outline rear target sight, with the top of the rib and top strap of the frame hand checkered. It has the original pinned barrel, counter bored cylinder, and checkered hammer spur, with ""REG. U.S. PAT. OFF." marked on the back of the hammer, serrated trigger and grip straps. The accompanying factory letter verifies the serial and registration numbers, King sights, blue finish, originally with 5" barrel, and that it was shipped to the E.K. Tryon Co., Philadelphia, Pa. on January 29, 1939. Complete with a floral tooled S.D. Myres leather holster that the family says was made for Mr. Lippincott, by S.D. Myres personally. Also accompanying the revolver is wool shooting shirt with brass Lower Merion Police buttons and approximately 20 sewn on patches from various pistol matches in the pre-WWII period. Last but not least, in addition to the holster, shirt and factory letter, an extensive packet of detail research documents concerning Mr. Lippincott and his personal history are also included.

ConditionExcellent, 98+% blue finish remaining showing faint muzzle and high edge wear. There is a very light drag line on the cylinder. Almost all of the original bright and vivid case colors remain on the hammer and trigger. The grips are excellent and the engraving is magnificent. The action is excellent, the holster is very good, and the shirt is very good as well. One of a only very few known engraved .357 Registered Magnum's and with wonderful history as well.
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