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Auction Date: December 2, 2011

Lot 1870: Smith & Wesson - 357 Magnum

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Custom Arnold Griebel Engraved Gold Inlaid Smith & Wesson Pre-Model 27 357 Magnum Double Action Revolver with Factory Letter and Pearl Grips
Estimated Price: $6,500 - $9,000
Item Views 390 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Smith & Wesson - 357 Magnum ManufacturerSmith & Wesson Model357 Magnum
TypeRevolver Gauge357 Magnum Catalog Page114
Barrel5 Inch Solid Rib FinishBlue GripPearl
Stock ClassCurio & Relic Handgun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis is a beautiful example of an Arnold Griebel, Chicago shipped (1950), custom engraved Pre-Model 27 revolver. The 5-screw revolver features nearly full coverage of floral scroll and punch dot engraving with a wild boar in a wooded scene on the left side of the frame. The barrel sides have the standard marking and the large S&W trademark and four line address are marked on the right side of the frame. There are two gold inlaid bands around the muzzle and the bottom of the trigger guard is gold inlaid "A.V. BODINE". Alfred VanSant Bodine, the subject of a mini-book entitled, "A Man and His Machines, A. V. Bodine and the Bodine Corporation", produced by the Newcomen Society, was a prominent American businessman and industrialist who founded the world-famous Bodine Corp. in the 1920's, a machine and ordnance manufacturing conglomerate that is still today one of the pre-eminent military-industrial firms with offices world-wide. Mr. Bodine was born in Lambertville, NJ, in 1894, and attended Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, PA, where he received a mechanical engineering degree, with honors, in 1915. He promptly went to work for Winchester Repeating Arms Co. where he quickly rose through the ranks and, just before World War One, was appointed Superintendant of the U. S. Arsenal at Watervliet, NY. His work there was of great importance to the war effort's success - he would again be called on by his country at the onset of World War II for his company's expertise and manufacturing ability - Bodine heavily influenced the re-thinking and eventual re-vamping of our military ordnance planning in both World Wars - He resigned at Watervliet following the 1918 Armistice to manage Hunter Arms Co., of Fulton, NY, and from there moved to being manager of the new Columbia Gramophone Co. (now CBS). His next move was to Vice-President of the Dictaphone Corp. Always with a strong desire to own his own business, he and a fellow executive began to acquire small companies which they eventually merged into what became the gigantic Bodine Corp., now for over 80 years the world's leader in ordnance manufacturing. In addition to the factory letter, a copy of the mini-book about Mr. Bodine as well as many other documents and photos accompany this revolver, including a 1950-period catalog from Arnold Griebel's engraving shop in Chicago, which features examples of his many talents as an artist and engraver. Red post Patridge front sight blade and adjustable rear target sight, finely checkered top of rib and top strap, blue finish with casehardened hammer and trigger, serrated trigger and back strap, checkered target hammer and fitted with smooth pearl grips with silver S&W medallions. The accompanying factory letter verifies the serial number, 5 inch barrel, blue finish and checkered walnut grips at the time of shipping, which was on December 27, 1950 to A. Griebel, Chicago, Illinois. The letter further states "This was a plain gun when shipped and was probably engraved by Griebel for one of his customers. Arnold Griebil was one of the most famous and prolific engravers of the 20th Century and his work is most desirable and is highly sought after by knowledgeable collectors.

ConditionProfessionally master engraved, embellished with 99% blue finish remaining, showing a faint rub to the finish on the lower area of the crane. The grips are excellent with a small minor crack on the top of the left panel and have superb fire colors. The hammer and trigger retain 99% original case colors with some slight normal cycling wear. The engraving remains sharp. The action is excellent.
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