Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1152: Colt 1861 Revolver 36 percussion

Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Documented Cased Factory Engraved Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver with Pearl Grips and Accessories

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $55,000 - $85,000

Documented Cased Factory Engraved Colt Model 1861 Navy Revolver with Pearl Grips and Accessories

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1861
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36 percussion
Barrel: 71/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened/silver
Grip: pearl
Item Views: 1600
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 90
Class: Antique

This Model 1861Colt Navy revolver was manufactured in 1863 and features very nice scroll style and floral accented engraving by the shop of Master Engraver Gustave Young. The engraving and punch dot background cover the rear sides of the barrel, frame, trigger guard bow, butt and upper and lower back strap. There are floral patterns amid the scroll as well as a devil dog's head vignette on the left rear of the frame below the hammer screw and the characteristic wolf head hammer engraving. The two ends of the wedge are also engraved. This particular revolver is pictured on a two page spread (pages 180-181) in Volume One of "The Colt Engraving Book" by R.L. Wilson. The top of the barrel is marked "--ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW - YORK U.S. AMERICA--" and the left side of the frame is marked "COLTS / PATENT". The complete serial number is marked on the barrel, frame, trigger guard and back strap, all of which are following by an "E" suffix. The partial serial number "6702" is marked on the cylinder. The cylinder is roll engraved with the Texas naval scene. The barrel and cylinder are blue, casehardened loading lever, frame and hammer and silver plated brass trigger guard and back strap. The revolver is fitted with two piece mother-of-pearl grips which are rarely found on percussion Colt firearms. The revolver is complete in a hard wood case with red velvet lining and four compartments. Also in the case is a flask with a patriotic motif on each side and an iron "COLTS / PATENT" marked two cavity bullet mold. A rare engraved Colt with particularly desirable pearl grips, one of only a handful known in the Colt 1861 Navy series.

Rating Definition:

Very fine. The barrel retains 50% plus of the original bright blue finish with the balance having a smooth brownish patina. The cylinder has a smooth brown patina with scattered strong traces of original finish (approximately 10%) and visible scene and engagement dates. The loading lever retains 50% plus of the bright original case colors with the balance a smooth brownish gray patina. The frame and hammer retain about 60% original bright and muted case colors with the brightest colors on the left side of the frame and right side recoil shield with the balance beginning to tone to a smooth gray. There are strong traces of the original silver plating in protected areas of the back strap and trigger guard with a pleasant aged patina on the exposed brass. The grips are fine with a crack through the right grip at the area of the escutcheon screw, a couple of small chips above the screw and a moderate chip at the right top near junction of frame. The left grip panel has a small crack at the bottom edge, otherwise minor handling marks. The markings and engraving are crisp and clear. The action is excellent. The case is very good with a couple minor age cracks, some minor abrasions and scratches on the bottom and overall minor handling marks. The lining has faded some, there is a small tear on the inside of the lid and some wear from the revolver rubbing on the lining. The flask is good with an aged patina and the mold is good with some minor spotting. A very nice Gustave Young engraved Colt 1861 Navy revolver with rarely found pearl grips that would highlight any collection.

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