Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3078: Colt 1860 Revolver 44 percussion

Auction Date: September 15, 2013

Rare and Extraordinary London Cased Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $75,000 - $95,000

Rare and Extraordinary London Cased Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1860
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44 percussion
Barrel: 8 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: varnished walnut
Item Views: 2495
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 38
Class: Antique

This extraordinary Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver was manufactured in 1865. This Model 1860 Army Revolver is British proofed and has a Colt London address factory oak case with Pall Mall interior label and Colt's/Dixon bag powder flask, oil bottle and cap tin. British cased and proofed Model 1860 Army Revolvers are very rare. The revolver has a high polish blue finish on the barrel, cylinder, trigger guard and back strap. The loading lever, three screw frame and hammer are casehardened with vivid case colors. The one-piece walnut grip has a highly polished piano finish. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped "-ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-" in one line. The cylinder is roll engraved with the Texas Navy battle scene and roll-stamped "COLTS PATENT No." "ENGAGED 16 MAY 1843" is stamped in small letters along the forward edge of the cylinder. The left side of the frame is stamped "COLTS/PATENT" in two lines. "44 CAL" is stamped on the left shoulder of the trigger guard. The full serial number "154572" is stamped on the underside of the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard and back strap. The partial serial number "4572" is stamped on the cylinder. All of the visible serial numbers match. An "L" is stamped above the serial number on the lug and below the serial numbers on the frame, trigger guard and back strap. The "L" designation indicates that the revolver was intended for shipment to London. British London "Crown/P" and "Crown/V" inspection and proofmarks are stamped on the left side of the barrel lug and on the rebated portion of the cylinder above each chamber. The revolver features the blue steel trigger guard and back strap that were popular with British customers and hammer spur with bordered knurling. The lid of the British style oak case has brass screws around the edge and round brass plate inlaid in the center. The case has seven compartments and is lined with green baize. A 7 1/2 inch by 5 inch Colt instruction label with "14 PALL MALL LONDON S.W." address and red and black printing is glued to the inside of the case lid. The case contains .44 caliber round balls in the compartment with bone handle lid, steel cleaning rod with turned boxwood knob and slotted shank (COLT ACCOUTREMENTS by Robin Rapley p. 158) blue L-shaped screwdriver/nipple wrench, blue steel .44 caliber bullet mold for round balls and conical bullets with "COLT'S/PATENT" roll-stamped on the top of the sprue cutter in two lines and "44H" on the right block (Rapley M#28, p.137), pewter oil bottle stamped "JAMES DIXON/& SONS/SHEFFIELD" on the bottom (Rapley p. 160), key, "J. Blanch & Son" japanned 500 count cap tin with embossed brass disc (Rapley CT#30, p. 203), and medium size bag-shaped, powder flask with lanyard ring, brown lacquer body, gold-plated brass, three-position charger and niter blue spring marked "COLT'S NAVY FLASK" above the charger and "JAMES DIXON/& SONS/SHEFFIELD" below it (Rapley F#43, p. 108).

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The revolver retains 95% of the bright original blue and 99% vivid casehardened finish. Finish wear on the blue components is limited to some flaking on the left side of the barrel at the muzzle and on the bottom and front edges of the trigger guard and a few minor handling marks. There is a light drag line on the cylinder but no flash pitting on the cylinder exterior. The percussion nipples have minimal flash pitting; the revolver exterior has minimal firing wear. The cylinder retains nearly all of the Texas Navy scene. The loading lever, frame and hammer retain 99% of the brilliant case colors. There is some light flash pitting in the hammer well and on the inside of the hammer spur. The screws are excellent and retain nearly all of the niter blue finish. The grips are excellent with 98% of the piano finish varnish intact and minimal handling or storage marks. The case exterior is fine with light handling wear and a few scratches. The interior is fine. The green baize lining is slightly faded but is clean. Wear is limited to several light oil stains from contact with the revolver cylinder and recoil shield. The accessories are excellent. The cleaning rod, screwdriver and oil bottle show minimal wear. The bullet mold is excellent and retains at least 95% of the dull blue finish with sharp markings. The scarce Blanch & Son cap tin is very condition with 90% of the brown japanned finish intact and most of the original caps. The Dixon powder flask is exceptional; the body retains 98% of the brown lacquer finish. The top and charger have almost 95% of the gold plated finish with crisp markings and the niter blue spring has nearly all of the fire blue finish intact. This is an exceptional example of a rare cased London Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver.

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