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Auction Date: April 24, 2015

Lot 331: Colt - 1877 Thunderer

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Documented Historic Presentation Engraved and Silver Plated Colt Model 1877 Thunderer Double Action Revolver Shipped to Caldwell Hart Colt, the Son of Samuel Colt
Estimated Price: $25,000 - $50,000
Item Views 168 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt - 1877 Thunderer ManufacturerColt Model1877 Thunderer
TypeRevolver Gauge41 LC Catalog Page102
Barrel4 1/2 Inch Round FinishSilver GripPearl
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionThis beautiful Colt Model 1877 Thunderer DA revolver features a presentation factory engraving, inscription, silver plating and pearl grips and has been documented by a Colt factory letter as having been shipped to Col. Samuel Colt's son, Caldwell Hart Colt. Caldwell designed the Colt double barrel rifle in 1879. He inherited the bulk of Colonel Colt's fortune and came into possession when he attained majority in November of 1879. The factory letter confirms the caliber, barrel length, pearl grips, and factory engraving. The revolver was original shipped with a nickel finish with gold cylinder base and trigger. The revolver now has a period silver plating. As stated, the factory letter states that the revolver was shipped to Caldwell Hart Colt of Hartford, Connecticut, on October 19, 1880 as a one gun shipment. 95% of the metal surfaces are covered in the factory engraving (likely a C+ engraving). The engraving features floral scrollwork on a dot background on the sides of the frame, sides and top of the barrel, and cylinder flats. An engraved dot and zig zag line pattern is featured on the ejector rod housing, trigger guard, cylinder flutes, and grip straps. The loading gate has a clam shell pattern, the top strap has a floral motif, and the sides of the trigger guard have a star burst pattern. The revolver features fixed sights, the two line Hartford address on top of the barrel, and "COLT. D.A. 41" inside a banner on the left. The matching serial number is marked on the frame, trigger guard and back strap. The loading gate is numbered "167". It has an early "bullseye" ejector rod head and is fitted with pearl grips (niter blue grip screw head). The back strap has the inscription: "H. F. Robinson." The Robinson name is familiar to Colt collectors. Colonel Charles L.F. Robinson married Elizabeth Beach (the niece of Samuel Colt’s wife) and was the President of Colt Firearms from 1911 to 1916 as well as the Gatling Company. He oversaw the development of the famous Model 1911 and named his son Caldwell Colt Robinson (Samuel Colt's grandnephew). Interestingly, both Colonel Robinson and Caldwell Hart Colt died while out on their yachts. The younger Robinson died in attacking a German machine gun nest in WWI. H. F. Robinson is likely a relative and may be the Herbert F. Robinson who served in the irrigation portion of the U.S. Indian Service first as an engineer and then as Superintendent of Irrigation. He was active primarily in the Southwest and photographed the region and its Native peoples.

ConditionVery fine as factory refurbished. The revolver retains 95% of the silver plating with most of the loss on the back strap. There is a series of tool marks on the underside of the barrel. The grips are very fine with a minor chip missing from the left panel and some chipping along the back edges. The pearl has a very attractive color. Mechanically fine. Truly exceptional factory engraved Colt Model 1877 DA revolver documented to Caldwell Hart Colt that would be the center piece to any advanced antique Colt collection!
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