Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 219: Cased Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver

Auction Date: December 2, 2016

Historic Elaborate Embellished Gold and Silver Inlaid and Relief Engraved Cased Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver with Scrimshawed Grips Inscribed to Major Frederick Hardy of the 84th Regiment

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500

Historic Elaborate Embellished Gold and Silver Inlaid and Relief Engraved Cased Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver with Scrimshawed Grips Inscribed to Major Frederick Hardy of the 84th Regiment

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1851
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36 percussion
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/silver/gold
Grip: antique ivory
Stock:
Item Views: 1248
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 86
Class: Antique
Description:

Frederick Hardy was an officer in the 84th Regiment of Foot (York and Lancaster Regiment). His career appears to have spanned from 1849 to 1889 based on the dates in the UK National Archive. He began his career as a ensign on November 23, 1849, and advanced to lieutenant on June 6, 1851, captain on November 27, 1857, major on November 21, 1862, and lieutenant colonel on May 5, 1869. The unit's nickname was The Union Rose. The unit was heavily involved in quelling the Indian Mutiny (Sepoy Rebellion) beginning in 1857. In "The New Army List, Militia List, and Indian Civil Service List," Col. H. G. Hart wrote, "Lt. Colonel Hardy served as Orderly Officer to Brigadier Russell at the second relief of Lucknow at the Alumbagh and at the siege and capture of Lucknow also present with the 84th Regiment at the relief of Azimghur and pursuit of Koer Sing (mentioned in dispatches, Medal with two Clasps)." Only one man of the sixty men detachment of the 84th at Cawnpore survived. The main force, including Hardy, was committed to the defense and recapture of Lucknow. When the 84th finally left Calcutta in 1859 after seventeen years in India, they were saluted from the battery of Fort William. At most one other unit is recorded as having received this honor. After returning to England, they were given calmer stations for twenty-three years in Ireland, Canada, and the Channel Islands. The revolver was manufactured in 1853 and has since been elaborately engraved and inlaid with various floral designs, an Indian man on the left side of the barrel lug with a knife and pistol, and a series of silver studs on the loading lever. Most of the standard Colt markings remain unobscured. It is marked with "-ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY- " on the top of the barrel, the naval battle scene on the cylinder, "COLTS/PATENT" on the left side of the frame, and matching serial numbers on the loading lever, wedge, barrel, frame, trigger guard, cylinder, cylinder pin, and back strap. The latter is inscribed "Major Fredk Hardy/84TH Regt," and a "P" is marked on the left side of the back strap obscured by the grips. The "one piece" style grips have scrimshawed scroll designs on the sides. The revolver comes with a case with hunter green lining, an empty Eley Bros. cap tin, several lead balls, an American Flask & Cap Company eagle and martial themed powder flask (matches figure 798 in "The Powder Flask Book"), and a dual cavity bullet mold.

Rating Definition:

Very fine as period custom embellished. The revolver retains 98% plus of the gold, silver, and blue finish. The only noticeable wear is some brighter sections on the loading rammer and a couple absent studs on the lever. Otherwise, there is only minor handling and storage marks and some very slight spotting. The silver and brass have aged patina. The grips are very fine with nicely aged tones, a small age crack on the upper left, and distinct designs. The action remains excellent. The case is very good with minor overall storage wear along with some small stains, fading, and minor tears on the interior. The accessories are fine. This is a beautiful revolver elaborately ornamented and tied to an important era in both the history of the British Empire and India.



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