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This factory engraved Sharps Model 1853 sporting carbine was manufactured by the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Co. in Hartford, Connecticut, circa 1856. This carbine has a 90 bore (.373 caliber), 21-inch round barrel fitted with a dove-tail mounted brass front sight blade and folding leaf rear sight. The forearm lacks the barrel band found on standard model carbines and has a pewter tip. The left side of the receiver does not have a sling bar and ring which were frequently not fitted to Model 1853 sporting carbines. The carbine has the distinctive "Slant Breech" receiver with Lawrence pellet primer and special order factory double set triggers. The stock and forearm are straight grain American walnut with a piano finish. The stock has an iron patch box and buttplate. The barrel is browned and the receiver, lock plate, patch box, buttplate and lever are color casehardened. The carbine is factory engraved with Hartford "Donut Scroll" engraving. This style engraving is also found on factory engraved Colt revolvers manufactured in the mid-1850s. The engraving consists of tight circular scrollwork on a punch-dot background. The engraving covers the top of the barrel between the rear sight and receiver, the receiver, lock plate, hammer, upper and lower tang, lever, patch box and buttplate heel. In addition to the scrollwork, the patch box has a round panel that is engraved with a game scene. The lock plate is roll-stamped: "SHARPS/PATENT/1852" in three lines in a panel surrounded by scrollwork. "SHARPS/PATENT/1848" is roll-stamped on the upper tang is a scrollwork panel. The serial number is stamped on the upper receiver tang and is partially covered by engraving. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped: "SHARP'S RIFLE/MANUFG. CO/HARTFORD CONN" in three lines reading from the breech to the muzzle. Provenance: The Robert Bretherton Collection; Property of a Gentleman
Very good. The browned and casehardened finish has aged to an attractive brown patina. With the exception of the hammer, percussion nipple and top of the breech block which have the expected flash pitting metal surfaces are smooth. The well executed factory engraving is crisp and deep. All of the factory markings are sharp. The action requires adjustment or repair, as the hammer will not hold at full or half-cock. The revarnished stock and forearm are both in good condition with a repair visible at wrist, rear of upper tang and lock plate. This is a solid example of a scarce factory engraved Sharps Model 1853 Slant Breech Sporting Carbine.
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