Excellent. The revolver remains in exceptional condition and retains nearly 95% of the deluxe high polish blue and color casehardened finish. The barrel legend is faint which Wilson attributes to special polishing at the Colt factory prior to bluing. The roll-engraved cylinder scene is crisp and 100% intact. There are traces of flash pitting on several percussion nipples and some light pitting over one chamber. There are several small dents on the top edges of the barrel. The hammer and sides of the frame have strong case colors with some fading on the contact points of the lower grip. The engraving is extremely crisp. The pearl grips remain in excellent condition. Wear is limited to some very slight age discoloration and several very minor chips on the edges of the back strap and butt. The case and accessories are all original and show only limited wear. The case exterior is in very good condition; wear is limited to several superficial scratches and some minor handling and storage marks. The case interior is in very fine condition with wear limited to compression marks from the revolver and accessories and three small spots of oil discoloration. The additional cylinder body retains nearly all of the blue finish and has a distinct roll scene. The percussion nipples have some flash pitting, and the front and rear faces of the cylinder have some finish discoloration. The remaining accessories are very good to very fine overall. Overall, this is an exceptional example and the earliest known factory engraved Colt revolver with a unique 1 3/4 inch barrel, silver inlays, and the earliest known factory pearl grips. R.L Wilson describes this pistol as: "an iconic creation held in the young inventor's hands - and undoubtedly emblazoned with its creator's fingerprints on numerous occasions". It is a one of a kind, uniquely configured and extensively documented Colt Pocket Model Paterson No.1 revolver complete with multiple rare accessories.
This extraordinary Colt Pocket Model Paterson Revolver No. 1 is the earliest known factory engraved Colt revolver and also the first known Colt fitted with mother of pearl grips. It was manufactured circa 1837 and is complete with a mahogany factory case and multiple rare accessories. It features a unique 1 3/4-inch barrel, six German silver inlaid bands, pearl grips, and is accompanied by a comprehensive, 26-page description and history by Colt expert R. L. Wilson. Wilson believes that this revolver was manufactured for use as a sample piece by Samuel Colt which accounts for the special barrel length, markings, deluxe engraving and inlays and special pearl grips. The barrel, frame, back strap and hammer are engraved with vine style scroll work without a background motif. A dog surrounded by scroll work is engraved on the bottom of the frame. Four German silver bands are inlaid on the barrel, and two bands are inlaid on the recoil shield. A German silver escutcheon is inlaid on the back strap. Wilson states that this revolver was engraved and inlaid at Colt's Paterson factory by Frederick Hansen who engraved a number of significant Paterson Colt firearms that were manufactured as sample and exhibition pistols. The pearl grips are secured by three German silver studs. The revolver has a high polish blue finish on the barrel and cylinder. The frame and hammer are color casehardened. The serial number 98 and a dot marking are stamped on the front of the trigger, the back of the cylinder, beneath the breech of the barrel and on the revolving ring. All of the visible serial numbers match. The revolver has a five-shot, round back cylinder roll-stamped with "COLT" in the four horse-head motif and the centaur scene. Wilson's description states that the revolver was fitted with the later, round breech cylinder at the Colt Paterson factory in the spring of 1840 when Colt updated the cylinders on all of the Paterson revolvers in stock. This revolver was discovered by Harry H. Sefried in 1976 and has subsequently been part of several famous Colt collections including the collection of William Foxley and Dr. Joseph A. Murphy. The mahogany case has the standard beveled lid inlaid with a scalloped silver plate. The case interior is lined with dark purple velvet. The small accessories are secured with wire clips, and the spare cylinder and powder flask have form fitted indentations. The case contains: (1) five-shot, round-back cylinder, (2) Paterson No.1, 28 caliber, bullet mold (Rapley M#1), (3) Paterson Baby or Pocket Model Combination Tool (Rapley T#1), (4) Paterson Pocket Model cleaning rod with threaded end (Rapley Rod#5), (5) Paterson Pistol Cap Primer (Rapley CP#2), (6) Ammunition Charger for Paterson No. 1 Pocket Revolver and (7) key. The cylinder has a high polish blue finish and is roll-engraved "Colt" surrounded by four horse heads and the fighting centaur scene. The back of the cylinder is numbered "1233" between the chambers. The Paterson Pistol Cap Primer features a detailed lid with the Rampant Colt in relief on its hind legs on simulated ground above crossed revolvers. "COLTS PATENT/PATENT ARMS MANg Co PATERSON. N.J." is cast in relief around the edge of the lid with a double line border. The five-shot ammunition charger has a two-piece copper body with gilded brass top and bands. The center band is roll-stamped: "-Patent Arms M'g Co Paterson N-J Colt's Pt.-" in script letters with a double arrow device at either end. The assembly number "62" is stamped on the side and top of the ball compartment and the top and bottom of the powder compartment. The center band has a bayonet slot that retains the powder compartment. The revolver, case, and accessories have been described and illustrated in numerous books and periodicals which are listed in detail in the Wilson description.