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The included factory letter states the rifle was received in the warehouse on August 17, 1915, and shipped the same day on order number 633085 to Abercrombie & Fitch Co. of New York City. Rarely do we catalog Winchesters where the factory ledger records the recipient. Ledger entries generally only include the in warehouse date and ship date with the order number. The factory letter also states the rifle was in takedown configuration with a round barrel in .33 WCF caliber, checkered pistol grip stock, half magazine, shotgun butt, and oil finish when it shipped in 1915. The rifle was subsequently embellished by master engraver Arnold Griebel. A previous owner explains when he obtained the rifle and how it came to be engraved: "The deluxe 1886 Winchester s.n. 153353 I purchased in the early 1950s. It has a beautiful walnut stock, pistol grip, shotgun butt, and fine checkering. My wife's uncle worked for a small company that dealt in precious metals. Arnold Griebel would buy gold from him to use for inlays on guns. This is how I met Arnold. He was somewhat selective who he would do work for. After several meetings we decided what would be appropriate to put on the rifle. Arnold worked on a small table in his kitchen on the northwest side of Chicago...He did the work about 1960 and I was more than pleased with it." Born in Germany Griebel came to the U.S. in 1928 and was employed as a die engraver and later as a free lance gun engraver in Chicago. He died on September 13, 1970, at the age of 79. The receiver features fine panels of floral scrollwork on stippled background. The sides of the receiver are decorated with detailed game scenes: a buffalo in a mountain scene on the left side and a buck in a forest scene on the right side. Griebel signed his work on top of the chamber. The rifle is fitted with a beaded blade Lyman front sight, an elevation adjustable rear sight, standard Winchester markings including factory oval proofs, and checkered deluxe walnut forearm and pistol grip stock with hard rubber Winchester grip cap and checkered steel shotgun buttplate. The left side of the lower tang is stamped "416." The assembly number "416" is marked in pencil on the stock inlet. "416" is also repeated on butt of the stock and buttplate.
Very fine as embellished by noted master engraver Arnold Griebel, retaining 85% of the custom blue finish with the takedown collar and buttplate mostly a smooth brown-gray patina. The lever retains an area of vivid original case colors. The wood is very fine with a couple sight stress cracks at the upper tang, some minor handling marks, and overall crisp recut checkering. Mechanically excellent. An attractive Arnold Griebel signed work for firearms art on a Winchester Model 1886 rifle.
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