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Auction Date: May 1, 2016

Lot 3273: Mauser - Bolo

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Excellent Presentation Quality Engraved Mauser Bolo Broomhandle with Inlaid Grips, as Seen in "System Mauser" by Breathed and Schroeder
Estimated Price: $27,500 - $50,000
Item Views 279 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Mauser - Bolo ManufacturerMauser ModelBolo
TypePistol Gauge7.63 Mm Mauser Auto Catalog Page138
Barrel4 Inch Round FinishBlue GripWalnut
Stock ClassCurio & Relic Handgun RatingSee Condition
DescriptionManufactured in the post-World War I era, the Bolo Broomhandle takes the form and function of the full-sized 1896 Broomhandle and trims down the measurements to make a more convenient and compact pistol. This particular Bolo shows over 75% coverage of fine scroll and floral pattern engraving, with hand-cut frame markings and a pair of multi-material inlaid grips. As opposed to the American system of offering elevating "grades" of stock decoration in the catalogs, Mauser would produce presentation grade pistols on an individual basis. Contracting with outside craftsmen, the company would ship an unfinished "in the white" pistol to an engraver, who would then return the embellished pistol to the factory for the traditional deep Mauser blued finish. In addition to presentation grade pistols ordered by customers, the company also embraced the tradition of using them as an advertising and sales tool, shipping them to people in a position to influence government arms purchases and displaying them with pride at exhibitions and trade shows in order to catch the eye and imagination of potential customers. On a mechanical level, this Bolo gives exactly what you would expect, with a blade front sight, 1000-meter rear sight, "New Safety" pattern hammer, nitre blue finished small parts and a fixed double-stack magazine, and the traditional matching external numbers, three-line chamber address, two-line frame address and "MAUSER" banner are present. Starting at the barrel flats and going back, fine leafy scrollwork is present on most flat surfaces, with light texturing of the rail grooves, large floral blooms on the sides of the magazine, floral vine borders around the "MAUSER" panel, and light scrolls on the hammer sides. The grips are made from fancy walnut and numbered "004" to match on the insides, with finely checkered panels in the centers, inlaid panels of antique ivory and mother of pearl, and inlaid silver wire bordering. Like so many Mauser products, no firm documentation is available due to the loss of factory records during and after World War II, but the Mauser factory is known to have produced presentation quality grips of very similar materials and decoration. The pistol can be seen on page 203 of John Breathed Jr and Joseph Schroeder Jr's "System Mauser" (2nd Edition), where it is credited as being from the Robert Bretherton Collection and pictured opposite another known Presentation Bolo with nearly identical grips.

ConditionExcellent, with 98% of the original factory blue finish, showing a few light takedown scratches on the magazine floorplate and plunger, and minimal handling marks overall. Fiery nitre blue is present on the small components with a few bright edges, and a solid satin gray to the hammer assembly. The engraving is all crisply executed, with fine detail, and the grips are very good with a few mild dings and a few segments of the wire emerging from the wood, but not loose or detached. Mechanically excellent. A fantastic show piece, which would be a credit to any collection of European handguns or Mauser Broomhandles.
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