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Selling: September 7, 2012

Lot 4: Winchester Model 1873 "One of One Thousand"

Sold for Winchester Model 1873
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Highly Desirable Inscribed Winchester Model 1873 "One of One Thousand" Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter
Estimated Price: $50,000 - $100,000
Serial #Winchester Model 1873 ManufacturerWinchester Model1873
TypeRifle Gauge44 WCF Catalog Page8
Barrel26 Inch Octagon FinishBlue/gold-plated Grip
Stockwalnut checkered ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis Winchester Model 1873 "One in One Thousand" marked rifle was manufactured in 1878. The rifle has a gold plated frame, forearm cap and crescent buttplate. The barrel, full-length magazine, loading gate, lever and hammer are blue. The stock and forearm are highly figured fancy grade walnut with a high polish "piano finish" and "Style H" checkering. The top of the barrel is engraved "One of One Thousand" in a panel with scalloped borders between the frame and the rear sight dovetail. The barrel has the typical Fourth Style "One of One Thousand" scroll engraving on a punch-dot background on the muzzle and sides of the barrel between the rear sight dovetail and the frame. A single silver or platinum band is inlaid at the breech and muzzle. The brass cartridge elevator is not gold-plated and is engraved "Geo. R. Wells/- FROM-/D.H. Coleman" in three lines in Old English style letters. The barrel is fitted with a dovetail mounted "Rocky Mountain" style front sight with steel blade and a sporting rear sight with plain edges and a sliding center insert. The First Model frame has a dust cover with 5/8 inch, impressed oval thumb print with fine checkering. The rifle has a single set trigger. The buttplate has a sliding, gold-plated trap door. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped "WINCHESTER-REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." The upper tang is roll-stamped "MODEL 1873" in fancy letters. The serial number, "27187" is roll-stamped in script letters on the lower tang between the lever latch and the tang screw. The assembly number "825" and "825 XXX" are stamped on the left side of the upper and lower tang underneath the stock. "825" is also stamped in the upper tang inlet of the stock. Serial number "27187" is not listed in the serial numbers of Winchester 1 of 1000 Rifles on pages 374-378" of "WINCHESTER'S NEW MODEL OF 1873, A TRIBUTE, Volume II" by James D. Gordon. However, Model 1873 rifles serial number 27184 and 27185 (just a few numbers away and factory letters for these numbers verified under the same order number and shipped the same day) are listed as 1 in 1000 Rifles in Winchester warehouse ledgers. With the exception of the gold plated components, all of the engraving, features and markings are consistent with documented 1 of 1000 rifles. The rifle is an old restoration and the gold-plating was apparently done as part of the refurbishing. The inscription on the cartridge elevator is original to the rifle; there is no information with the rifle on either the presenter or the recipient. The accompanying factory letter verifies the rifle configuration, 26 inch octagon barrel, set trigger, casehardened, checkered stock with "Note on the record: (1 of 1000 per T.E. Hall, c. 1951)", and that it was received in the warehouse on September 4, 1877 and shipped on order number 9838, September 10, 1877. Serial numbers 27186 and 27188 do not record as 1 of 1000's and both were returned to the factory for repair on April 14th, 1908 under a new order number 17765.

ConditionExtremely fine as refinished. The rifle retains 98% or better of the blue and gold-plated finish. There are traces of light pitting on the muzzle beneath the refinished blue finish. The revarnished stock and forearm are both fine and retain nearly all of the high polish "piano finish". There is a repaired hairline crack visible through the finish on the left side of the stock at the junction with the buttplate. The checkered panel on the stock wrist has some minor handling wear. The markings on the barrel and upper tang are sharp. The engraving is crisp and the inscription of the cartridge elevator is extremely sharp. The serial number on the lower tang shows wear. This is an impressive looking example of a Winchester Model 1873 Rifle with desirable "One in One Thousand" marking and features.
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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.