Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1151: Colt Paterson Revolver 31 percussion

Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Exceptional Colt Ehler's Fifth Model Paterson Belt Model Revolver with Factory Case and Accessories

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $160,000 - $225,000

Exceptional Colt Ehler's Fifth Model Paterson Belt Model Revolver with Factory Case and Accessories

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Paterson
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 31 percussion
Barrel: 3 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 1961
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 88
Class: Antique

Colt Belt Model No. 2 Paterson revolver (also known as the 5th Model Ehler's Belt revolver) assembled and cased by John Ehlers after his acquisition of Samuel Colt's Patent Arms Manufacturing Co. circa 1843. John Ehlers was one of the earliest investors in the Patent Arms Manufacturing Co. He purchased the company at auction and acquired an estimated 536 incomplete Colt Paterson No. 1 and No. 2 revolvers. He completed an unknown number of Paterson No. 2 revolvers including several cased examples furnished with accessories and a distinctive flat top case. This revolver has a full blue finish and displays the distinctive Ehler's features which include a 1 1/16 inch long round back five-shot cylinder with hand-engaged ratcheted teeth at the back, a recoil shield capping cut-out on the right side of the frame, a hammer with knurled spur, and barrel markings that lack the "M'g Co" found on Colt manufactured Paterson revolvers. The revolver has a loading lever on the underside of the barrel secured by a leaf spring. The cylinder is roll-engraved with "COLT" and the centaur and horsemen fight scene. The straight grip is nicely figured walnut with a high polish "piano" finish and beveled bottoms. The frame has the distinctive Paterson folding trigger. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped "Patent Arms Paterson N.J. Colts Pt" with double arrows at either end of the legend. The serial number "217" is visible on the rear face of the cylinder between the chambers, on the inside of the frame, on the inside of the barrel lug and on the bottom of the barrel wedge. All of the visible serial numbers match. The flat top mahogany case is not fitted with a brass escutcheon plate and is lined with dark brown velvet. The case contains a brass barrel-shaped flask with plunger charger furnished with cased Ehler's revolvers (Rapley #F46), an iron single cavity round ball bullet mold with three tapered wooden handles (Rapley #M57A) and a niter blue question mark shaped combination nipple wrench/screwdriver (Rapley #T6). The revolver, case and accessories are nearly identical to the Fifth Model Ehler's revolver with 4 1/2 inch barrel illustrated on page 174 of "THE PATERSON COLT BOOK" by R. L. Wilson.

Rating Definition:

Very fine. The revolver retains at least 85% of the original high polish blue finish and is in exceptional condition. The cylinder has 100% of the horsemen and centaur scene. The nipples, cylinder face and frame show only light firing wear. The walnut grip is in excellent condition with more than 90% of the high polish piano finish remaining intact. Wear is limited to a few minor chips in the varnish at the back of the grip and on the heels. The case exterior is in very good condition. The lid has some light crazing and there is one hairline crack along the top. The velvet interior is in very good condition. The lining is clean and un-faded with wear limited to compression marks from the revolver and accessories. The brass flask is in very good overall condition and has a mellow un-polished patina. The bullet mold retains about 50% of the original niter blue finish and the turned wooden handles are in excellent condition. The combination screwdriver/nipple wrench has about 40% of the niter blue finish. This is an exceptional example of a rare and completely original, factory cased Ehler's Fifth Model Paterson revolver and accessories. The Paterson revolvers are key pieces in the development of Colt revolvers. This fine revolver would be the centerpiece of the most advanced collection of Colt firearms!

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