Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3159: Rare Colt 'Texas Paterson' No. 5 Revolver with Period Holster

Auction Date: September 10, 2017

Rare Colt "Texas Paterson" No. 5 Revolver with Period Holster

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $55,000 - $85,000

Rare Colt "Texas Paterson" No. 5 Revolver with Period Holster

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Paterson
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36 percussion
Barrel: 8 7/8 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 8653
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 86
Class: Antique

Colt Holster Model Peterson No. 5 revolver manufactured c. 1839-1840. This standard model No. 5 revolver has the distinctive 8 7/8-inch, .36 caliber octagon barrel, square-back five-shot cylinder, large frame and flared walnut grip. This early production No. 5 revolver is not fitted with a loading lever and lacks the capping cut-out in the recoil shield found on later production guns with loading levers. The barrel has a nickel-silver front sight blade. The hammer has hand-cut knurling on the spur. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped "- Patent Arms No.. Co. Paterson, N.J. Colt's Pt.-" in one line reading from the breech to the muzzle with the "snake and star" marking at either end. The cylinder is roll-engraved with the stagecoach hold-up scene. The serial number "531" is visible on: (1) the inside face of the barrel lug below the cylinder pin hole, (2) cylinder turning ring and (3) hammer. The cylinder is a replacement and is stamped with the serial number "373". The wedge is not serial numbered and the cylinder pin has an old repair which obscures the serial number. The revolver is accompanied by a rare period half-flap, thin profile holster. The holster has a sewn belt loop, open toe and narrow half-flap secured by a leather loop. This holster was made for a Texas Paterson revolver and fits this revolver perfectly. The large frame, long barrel and relatively large caliber made the No. 5 revolver the most popular Colt Paterson revolver. The No. 5 revolvers were the only Paterson model purchased by the Ordnance Department. The Ordnance Department purchased 150 No. 5 revolvers in 1840 for issue to the U.S. Navy; 100 of these revolvers were shipped to the Pacific Squadron. The Republic of Texas purchased 180 No. 5 revolvers with nine inch barrels. Some of these revolvers were issued to the Texas Rangers commanded by Jack Hays in his fight with the Comanche Indians that was subsequently depicted on the cylinders of the Colt Walker and Dragoon revolvers. The Texas Model Paterson is the most desirable of all the rare and highly collectable Colt Paterson revolvers. Consignor states that the revolver has been in their family for 4 generations.

Rating Definition:

Good. This revolver has a smooth gray brown patina on the barrel and frame with traces of the original blue finish on the cylinder. The barrel legend and serial numbers are clear. The cylinder scene is faint but legible. The un-numbered barrel wedge is a period replacement. The cylinder is numbered to another revolver and has one broken percussion nipple. There is an old, period, repair on the underside of the cylinder pin. The hammer will not hold at half-cock. The walnut grip shows considerable handling wear and has a chip in the left side at the junction with the frame. The black leather holster is in fair condition with tight stitching. The leather surfaces have age cracking and flaking and the holster retains 40% of the original finish. Texas Paterson revolvers typically saw hard use on the frontier and are rare in any condition. Survival rates for holsters for No. 5 revolvers are almost certainly lower than the pistol survival rates. This is a solid representative example of one of the rarest and most desirable of all Colt revolvers complete with an equally rare period holster.

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