Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3117: Colt 1851 Navy Revolver 36 percussion

Auction Date: May 2, 2014

Attractive Cased Engraved Colt Model 1851 Percussion Navy Revolver with Accessories

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $14,000

Attractive Cased Engraved Colt Model 1851 Percussion Navy Revolver with Accessories

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1851 Navy
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36 percussion
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened/silver
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 1431
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 62
Class: Antique

Manufactured in 1870, this is a very nice example of an engraved Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver done very much in the style of Gustave Young. The upper and side barrel flats, barrel lug, frame, rear sides of the loading lever, back strap, head of the wedge and trigger guard bow are engraved with the late percussion vine style engraving pattern. This style is discussed in the book "The Book of Colt Engraving" by R.L. Wilson and there is a photograph of a Model 1860 Army revolver on page 147 with almost identical engraving as that on this revolver. There is a serpents head in the pattern on each side of the barrel lug, and the sides of the hammer have a wolfs head motif and the same vine style as the rest of the revolver. There is a shell design on the top of the back strap. The top barrel lug is marked "-ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-", the left side of the frame is marked "COLTS/PATENT" in a downward arch and the left side trigger guard shoulder is marked "36 CAL". The cylinder is roll engraved with the Texas/Mexico naval battle scene and marked "COLTS PATENT No 318". The complete matching serial number is marked on the bottom of the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard and back strap, the partial serial number "0318" is marked on the cylinder pin , "318" on the wedge and the loading lever is un-numbered. The letter "E" is stamped above the serial number on the barrel lug and below the number on the frame, trigger guard and back strap. Standard brass cone front and hammer notch rear sights, the barrel and cylinder were blue, silver plated brass trigger guard and back strap, and casehardened remaining parts. The revolver is fitted with a varnished one-piece walnut grip. Complete in a walnut case with a brass shield inset in the lid and red velvet lining. The case has five compartments and contains a crossed revolvers/stars/eagle/cannon brass powder flask and two cavity iron bullet mold with "COLTS/PATENT" marked on the sprue cutter and "N.J" on the bottom of the left block.

Rating Definition:

Near fine. The metal surfaces have an attractive smooth mottled gray and brown patina. The brass has a very pleasant aged patina with strong traces of silver plating in the protected areas. The grip is very fine with 95% varnish remaining, and showing some lower edge wear and some minor dings and dents. The markings and engraving are crisp and clear. 90% of the cylinder scene is visible and clear. The action is excellent. The relined case and accessories are all very good. This is a fine example of a desirable Engraved Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver!

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