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Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Lot 1205: Colt - New Service Target

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Documented Historic Colt New Service Target Double Action Revolver Gold Inlaid Inscribed to Influential U.S. Presidential Secretary (to President Theodore Roosevelt) William Loeb Jr. with Factory Letter
Estimated Price: $25,000 - $50,000
Item Views 171 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt - New Service Target ManufacturerColt ModelNew Service Target
TypeRevolver Gauge44 Russian Catalog Page124
Barrel7 1/2 Inch Round FinishBlue GripWalnut
Stock ClassCurio & Relic Handgun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis factory documented revolver is factory gold inlaid inscribed to William Loeb, Jr., the Presidential Secretary to Theodore Roosevelt. The included Colt factory letter confirms the caliber and the factory "William Loeb Jr." inlaid in gold on the top of the frame. The barrel length, finish and type of stocks are not listed. The shipping information is as followed: shipped to William Loeb, Jr., address unavailable and date of shipment August 3, 1907. William Loeb, Jr. was a stenographer of Theodore Roosevelt when the future president was the Governor of New York. Roosevelt soon took notice of Loeb and appointed Loeb as his private secretary in 1899. When Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States after the assassination of President William McKinley, Loeb served as Roosevelt's assistant secretary from 1901 to 1903 and succeeded George B. Cortelyou as Secretary to the President in 1903, a position he held for the rest of Roosevelt's time as President which ended in 1909. (Note that the revolver was shipped when Loeb was the Presidential Secretary.) Loeb was a key advisor, helping to shape policy under one of the era's most powerful American political figures and was responsible, according the Roosevelt, for starting the investigations into the frauds committed by the Sugar Trust in New York's Custom House. The press dubbed him "Stonewall Loeb," for his ability to control access to the President that was unprecedented for the day. In fact, Loeb was empowered to speak for the President and he allowed reporters to contact him 24 hours a day, essentially becoming the first unofficial presidential press secretary. After Theodore Roosevelt's presidency, Loeb served as the Collector of the Port of New York from 1909 to 1913 and later became the Vice President of the American Smelting and Refining Company. The revolver is chambered in the desirable 44 Russian caliber which was an excellent target round that was developed during this time. The barrel has the two-line Hartford address on top and "NEW SERVICE 44 RUSSIAN CTG." on the left side. As stated, Loeb's name is inlaid in gold on top of the frame. The left side of the frame is marked with the Colt New Service Rampant Colt. Blue finish with niter blue hammer (polished sides) and trigger and fitted with diamond checkered pattern grips. The grips are numbered to the gun. Accompanying the revolver is a signed period political cartoon personalized to Mrs. William Loeb, the wife of William Lobe Jr. The cartoon drawn by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Clifford Kennedy Berryman and dated 1908, depicts Loeb and President Roosevelt. Berryman was a cartoonist for The Washington Post from 1891 to 1907 and for the Washington Star newspaper from 1907 to 1949 and drew thousands of cartoons commenting on American culture and politicians, covering everything from drought farm relief to elections, labor strikes to atomic bombs. He is perhaps best known for a cartoon depicting President Theodore Roosevelt showing compassion for a small bear cub. The image inspired New York store owner Morris Michtom to create a new toy, the teddy bear.

ConditionVery fine. The revolver retains 70% original high polished blue finish scattered mild spotting and holster type wear. The grips are excellent showing a few minor handling marks with overall crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. A rare example of a Colt New Service Target DA revolver with documented, desirable factory gold inlaid inscribed to an influential member of President Theodore Roosevelt's inner circle!
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