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Auction Date: December 8, 2013

Lot 3012: New Haven Arms Co. - Henry Rifle

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Rare Deluxe Gold Plated Factory Engraved Henry Lever Action Rifle
Estimated Price: $55,000 - $85,000
Item Views 189 Bid Activity Average
Serial #New Haven Arms Co. - Henry Rifle ManufacturerNew Haven Arms Co. ModelHenry Rifle
TypeRifle Gauge44 Henry RF Catalog Page14
Barrel24 Inch Octagon FinishBlue/gold Plated Grip
Stockvarnished walnut ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionLate production Deluxe Henry rifle manufactured by the New Haven Arms Co., c. 1866. The brass receiver and buttplate are gold plated, the barrel and integral magazine are blued and the hammer and loading lever are color casehardened. The stock is nicely figured walnut with a high polish piano finish. The receiver and buttplate are decorated with the second style factory engraving which features open Germanic scrollwork on a punch-dot background on the sides and top of the receiver, upper tang and buttplate heel. A running deer is engraved below the scrollwork on the left side plate. The receiver engraving has double line borders with scalloped edges. The second style engraving features scrollwork panels on the front of the receiver rather than the flower motif used on most earlier factory engraved Henry rifles. The rifle was probably engraved by Samuel Hoggson who is credited with engraving most of the factory engraved Henry rifles. The barrel has a replacement front sight and a folding leaf rear sight. The Third Style rear sight has a 900 yard center notch and lacks the elevator bar retaining screw found on the later Henry rear sights. The magazine has the late, large diameter cartridge follower and the receiver follower slot has the later milled flats. The buttplate is the second pattern with pointed heel. The butt trap contains the correct four piece, steel cleaning rod furnished with later production Henry rifles. The left side of the stock and barrel are fitted with the standard Henry sling swivel and screw-mounted loop for a sling hook. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend "HENRY'S PATENT. OCT. 16. 1860/MANUFACT'D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS CO. NEWHAVEN. CT." ahead of the rear sight. This second style legend is larger than the legend on early Henry rifles and utilizes all Roman (serifed) letters. The serial number "12625", is stamped on the top of the barrel behind the rear sight, on the inside of the buttplate below the lower screw hole, on the left side of the lower tang underneath the stock and in the upper tang inlet of the stock. All of the visible serial numbers match. The late style, cap-head buttplate and tang screws are, correctly, not serial numbered. A factory inspection mark "F" is stamped on the left side of the upper tang and the assembly number "23" is stamped on the left side of the lower tang. Most Henry rifles were working guns that lacked special order features; deluxe Henry rifles, like this example, with special finishes, high quality wood and factory engraving are rare.

ConditionVery good plus. The rifle is original and has traces of the original gold plated finish on protected areas of the receiver and traces of the blue finish on the barrel/magazine. The balance of the barrel/magazine has an attractive plum brown patina The barrel edges show some handling wear and the New Haven Arms legend is light. The stock and buttplate have a mellow un-polished patina. The well executed Germanic scrollwork and game scene are crisp. The side plate joints are tight; there is no indication that the side plates have ever been removed from the receiver. The hammer shows about 50% of the original case colors. The lever has an even plum brown patina. The nicely figured walnut stock is fine and retains most of the polished piano finish. Wear is limited to a few shallow dents and scratches primarily in the vicinity of the sling swivel. This is a good looking, original example of a rare Deluxe Factory Engraved Henry rifle.
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