Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1: Marlin Firearms Co 1897-Rifle 22 RF

Auction Date: May 20, 2011

Excellent Deluxe, Factory Engraved Marlin Model 1897 Lever Action Rifle

Estimated Price: $16,000 - $22,500

Excellent Deluxe, Factory Engraved Marlin Model 1897 Lever Action Rifle

Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms Co
Model: 1897-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 22 RF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut checkered
Item Views: 2415
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 6
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Marlin Model 1897 Lever-Action Rifle made circa 1898. The rifle has a 24" blued full octagon barrel and full-length magazine. The barrel has a dovetail mounted "Jack Sight" with silver bead and sporting style rear sight. A folding peep rear sight is mounted on the tang. The forearm cap, frame, hammer and lever have a color casehardened finish. The receiver is decorated with Marlin factory "No. 3 Engraving". The left side of the frame is engraved with a game scene featuring two deer in an oval panel. The panel is surrounded by scroll work on a punch-dot background. The right side of the frame features Germanic scroll work on a punch-dot background. The game scene and scroll work are bordered with engraved panels. The engraving covers the side of the bolt, the top of the frame, the upper tang, lower frame behind the serial number and the forearm cap. The engraving is probably the work of Conrad F. Ulrich who executed most of Marlin's factory engraving between 1875 and 1913. The pistol grip stock and forearm are highly figured, fancy grade, walnut with factory "No. C." checkered panels and a highly polished varnish finish. The shotgun buttplate is black, checkered, hard rubber embossed with the Marlin logo. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "Marlin Firearms Co. NEW-HAVEN, CT., U.S.A.,/PAT'D NOV.19.1878.APRIL 2.1889.AUG.12.1890.MAR.1.1892." with double arrows at either end of the legend. The caliber: "- 22.S.L. & LR-" is roll-stamped on the left side of the barrel between the rear sight and the frame. The top of the frame is roll-stamped "MARLIN SAFETY" with flourishes at either end and framed by an engraved panel. The serial number, "154715" is stamped on the front edge of the lower frame surrounded by engraved scrollwork. The upper tang markings are covered by the folding peep sight.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The rifle retains 90% of the original blue and 80% casehardened finish. The blue finish has some minor wear on the barrel edges. Barrel is possibly a factory replacement. The case colors have faded to silver on the high points of the frame and lever but the sides and top of the frame, hammer and sides of the lever retain strong case colors. The expertly cut engraving is crisp and the delicate game scene is sharp. The deluxe walnut stock and forearm have 95% of the original high polish varnish finish. The stock and forearm have some light handling marks but remain in excellent condition. This is an excellent example of a deluxe, Marlin 1897 rifle with factory engraving by master engraver Conrad Ulrich.

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