This is an excellent example of a very desirable late production Mauser Model 1896 cone hammer semi-automatic pistol. This example is fitted with one of the unique early Westley Richard specially marked variant rear sights. The rear sight has was installed by the Westley Richards company as it has been silver soldered onto the top of the rear section of the upper receiver. The sight itself may be some type of early prototype as it looks more like a miniaturized rifle rear sight with a sliding elevator that is marked on the left side: "PATENT 2735 41" with the sides of the elevation also marked "PATENT". It has very short range markings on the tangent graduated from 50-500 meters, with the early markings "WESTLEY RICHARDS SIGHT" across the face of the tangent. The rear of the sight is also fitted with a triangular pointer, and the pistol has a non-standard, slightly higher front sight with an integral bead. These rare variant rear sights are only found on cone hammer Mauser pistols sold or exported through the British company Westley Richards. In 1900, Westley Richards became the sole importer for all Mauser pistols in Great Britain. It has the various early features such as the early long extractor, deep milled panel frame with the raised rear panel on the left side, the dovetailed firing pin retained early wide trigger, and non-reinforced chamber area. The top of the chamber is marked "WAFFENFABRIK/MAUSER/OBERNDORF A/N", and the right side is stamped with a single Mauser antlered firing proof. The left side it has the standard double "crown/U" firing proof, and the serial number "10377" is stamped on the rear of the frame. Interestingly, the front grip strap has been engraved with number "A1080". It has the standard 23-groove walnut grips, with both matching numbered to the pistol. The butt of the pistol still retains its original lanyard ring stud and ring.
Very fine with 95% of the blue finish with some Westley Richards touch-up bluing in front of and on the sides of the upper receiver where the rear sight was installed. The grips are also in very fine condition with a nice, matching, light honey color with only minor handling marks. It has matching numbers on the visible parts. Mechanically excellent. Provenance: Robert M. Lee Collection.
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