Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1: Scarce Hoggson Factory Engraved Henry Lever Action Rifle

Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Estimated Price: $30,000 - $45,000

Scarce Hoggson Factory Engraved Henry Lever Action Rifle

Manufacturer: New Haven Arms Co.
Model: Henry Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 Henry RF
Barrel: 24 inch
Finish: blue/silver-plated
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2112
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 6
Class: Antique

Later production Henry Lever Action rifle that was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Co., circa April 1865. The silver-plated brass receiver and buttplate are factory engraved with the later style pattern scroll and punch dot engraving executed by Samuel J. Hoggson. This later style engraving has the distinctive animal scene on the left side plate and large flower petals on both sides of the forward portion of the receiver. The scrollwork and punch dot matting extend to the top of the receiver, upper tang and buttplate heel. The engraved panels on the sides of the receiver have double line, scalloped borders. The engraving is nearly identical to the engraving on Henry rifle, serial number, 9888 illustrated on page 43 of "THE WINCHESTER BOOK" by George Madis and Henry rifle, serial number 7158, shown on page 150 of "THE HENRY RIFLE" by Les Quick. The rifle has the later production Henry features which include; receiver with no rear sight dovetail, beveled magazine follower slot, large diameter magazine follower and buttplate with sharply pointed heel. The barrel has a nickel-silver front sight blade while the rear sight is fitted with a Winchester Model 1866 carbine folding two-leaf sight. The hammer spur has the standard borderless knurling and the buttplate has a hinged trap. The butt trap contains the four-piece, jointed, steel cleaning rod furnished with late production Henry rifles. The American walnut or rosewood stock has a non-factory, lead blank in the sling swivel inlet stamped "A. BONNETT/BROOKSVILLE PA" in two lines. The screw-fastened sling loop is still present on the left side of the barrel. The top of the barrel is marked with the two-line legend "HENRY'S PATENT. OCT. 16. 1860/MANUFACT'D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS CO, NEWHAVEN CT." in Roman (serif) letters ahead of the rear sight. The serial number "8837" is stamped on top of the barrel behind the rear sight dovetail, inside of the buttplate, left side of the lower tang and in the upper tang inlet of the stock. All of the visible serial numbers match. The late style, cap-head, buttplate screws and the tang screws are correctly not serial numbered. Oliver Winchester's "W" inspection mark is stamped on the lower tang between the lever latch and the tang screw. Most Henry rifles were manufactured during the Civil War to meet the demand for combat weapons; factory engraved Henry rifles like this classic example are scarce.

Rating Definition:

Good as partially restored. The rifle retains traces of the delicate silver-plated finish on the receiver and buttplate. The exposed brass on the receiver and buttplate has an attractive, untouched patina. The barrel legend has been professionally remarked and the barrel artificially aged to an even, deep brown patina. The edges of the barrel are sharp. There are traces of fine pitting along the lower portion of the magazine. The rear sight appears to be a contemporary replacement. The well-executed engraving on the receiver and buttplate is deep and sharp. The receiver and buttplate show moderate handling wear. The receiver screw heads are battered. The right side plate has been removed and there is a slight gap between the top of the side plate and the receiver. The stock retains the original piano finish with moderate handling wear with scattered shallow dents and scratches. This is a solid representative example of a desirable factory engraved Henry Lever Action rifle.

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