This is an elaborate factory engraved, gold inlaid Winchester Model 1894 Fancy Sporting Takedown Rifle that was manufactured in 1898. This rifle is accompanied by a Cody Firearms Museum letter which describes it as: "Type: Rifle, Caliber: 30, Barrel Type: Octagon, Trigger: Plain, Fancy Pistol grip stock, Carved style D, Takedown" and "Engraved $24 - Gold inlaid". The letter states this rifle was shipped from Winchester on December 21, 1904. The barrel, magazine, forearm cap, bolt and receiver are blued, the hammer, trigger and lever are color casehardened, and the crescent buttplate is silver-plated. The rifle features Winchester No.4 factory engraving. This engraving is illustrated and described on page 11 of the October 1897 edition of "Winchester Repeating Arms Co., Highly Finished Arms" reproduced on page 224 of "Winchester Engraving" by R.L. Wilson. The receiver is decorated with two highly detailed game scenes. The left side features a hunter downing two elk, and the right side is engraved with a highly detailed grizzly bear. The game scenes are surrounded by arabesque scrolls, fancy border and line work and outline engraving. The engraving covers the upper and lower receiver, upper tang, bolt, hammer, lever, takedown collar, rear of the barrel, forearm cap and buttplate heel. The rear of the receiver, lever link surrounding the lever, takedown collar, barrel, forearm cap and buttplate heel are high-lighted with inlaid gold bands. The rifle was engraved by John Ulrich and is signed "J.ULRICH" in tiny letters on the lower tang behind the trigger. The forearm and pistol grip stock are highly figured, fancy grade walnut with a high polish piano finish. The stock and forearm feature Winchester "Style D" relief-carved oak leaf and acorn motifs with fine checkering. The pistol grip has a black, hard rubber cap embossed "WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO." The barrel has a Lyman folding combination front sight with colored bead and a sporting style, buckhorn rear sight with screw-adjustable center piece and serrated edges. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped: "-MANUFACTURED BY THE-/-WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A.-" in two lines ahead of the rear sight. The left barrel flat is roll-stamped: "NICKEL STEEL BARREL/ESPECIALLY FOR SMOKELESS POWDER" in two lines below the rear sight. The caliber designation: "30 W.C.F." is roll-stamped on the top of the barrel in a panel formed by scallop and line engraving. The upper receiver tang is roll-stamped: "MODEL 1894/-WINCHESTER-/PAT AUG 21 1894" in three lines with an engraved double line border. The antique range serial number "139726" is stamped across the lower front edge of the receiver.
Very fine. The refinished barrel and magazine tube show very light handling wear. The muzzle end of the magazine is free from the scuff marks usually found on takedown rifle magazines. The professionally restored/recut barrel markings are sharp. Nearly all of the blue finish is present on the forearm cap, takedown collar, bolt and receiver. The loading gate and extractor have nearly all of the nitre blue finish. The case colors on the trigger, hammer and lever show almost no wear. The buttplate is tarnished but retains almost all of the silver-plated finish. The highly detailed game scenes and flawlessly executed engraving and border work are extremely sharp. The highly figured walnut stock and forearm are in very fine condition and have nearly all of the high polish finish. Wear is limited to a few minor scratches and handling marks. The relief-carved oak leaf and acorn motifs and fine checkering are in excellent condition. The carving and checkering on the right side of the forearm and pistol grip show some handling wear but remain in very fine condition overall. This is an attractive example of a Winchester Model 1894 Fancy Sporting Rifle with rarely encountered Winchester No. 4 engraving and gold inlays executed and signed by Master Engraver John Ulrich. Provenance: Robert M. Lee Collection.
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