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Auction Date: September 11, 2015

Lot 1232: Colt - 1855 Sidehammer

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Phenomenal Deluxe Gustave Young Factory Engraved Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer "Root" Revolver with Incredibly Rare Buhl Presentation Case
Estimated Price: $85,000 - $130,000
Item Views 201 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Colt - 1855 Sidehammer ManufacturerColt Model1855 Sidehammer
TypeRevolver Gauge28 Percussion Catalog Page112
Barrel3 1/2 Inch Octagon FinishBlue GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionManufactured circa 1859. The revolver is of the most deluxe factory engraving by the master Gustave Young and is fitted with a special Colt Buhl presentation case. The brass bound case is rosewood with antique ivory, silver, brass and pearl inlays. Samuel Colt ordered a small number of these elaborate cases in Austria in 1849 and used them for very special presentation revolvers. Colt revolvers with Buhl style cases were presented by Col. Colt to Edward Prince of Wales and his father Prince Albert, Queen Victoria and perhaps most important his patent attorney Edward Dickerson (see page 34 of THE BOOK OF COLT ENGRAVING by R.L. Wilson). The case is lined with purple velvet and has five compartments including one compartment with a lid and pearl handle. The case contains: (1) British style cleaning rod with steel handle, (2) key, (3) brass double cavity bullet mold marked "COLTS/PATENT" on the iron sprue cutter, (4) L-shaped screw-driver, (5) large 500 count tin of Eley percussion caps with green paper label and (6) pocket pistol powder flask embossed with Eagle and Shield and "E.PLURIBUS UNUM" in a ribbon on both sides of the flask. The revolver has an octagon barrel roll-stamped with the second style Hartford legend with pointing hand. The five-shot cylinder is decorated with the Cabin and Indian scene. The serial number "21035" is stamped on the barrel, cylinder and back strap. The pistol has a high polish blue finish on the barrel, frame and cylinder with color casehardened loading lever, hammer and cylinder pin. The one piece walnut grip has a high polish piano finish. The revolver is deluxe engraved with delicate, relief cut scrollwork and has the engraved cylinder and knurled loading lever found only on deluxe engraved revolvers. The combination of deluxe engraving and the rare and elaborate Buhl case make this one of the finest examples of a cased and deluxe engraved Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer revolver extant.

ConditionFine. The revolver retains 65% plus of the original blue and color casehardened finish. Most of the high polish blue is present on the barrel and frame with thinning on the back strap and contact points. The cylinder has a gray patina with moderate flash pitting on the percussion nipples and some hammer marks on the edges of the nipple cut-outs. The cylinder retains nearly all of the hand-cut Cabin and Indian scene. The delicate scrollwork is crisp and deep. The one-piece walnut grip has at least 90% of the piano finish varnish with a few minor handling marks. The cylinder does not turn when the hammer is cocked. The rare and elaborate Buhl case exterior is in very good condition with only light handling wear. The case interior is in good condition with bright velvet lining; wear is limited to some light compression marks and two small torn areas caused by contact with the revolver hammer spur and front sight. Some of the exterior brass inlays are lifting on the case lid. The accessories are all in good condition. This is an exceptional example of a deluxe, factory engraved Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer revolver with Colt Buhl presentation case reserved for royalty.
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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.