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Auction Date: September 10, 2017

Lot 3170: Superb, Silver and Gold Plated, L.D. Nimschke New York Retailer

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Superb, Silver and Gold Plated, L.D. Nimschke New York Retailer Engraved and Cased Colt Model 1862 Police Percussion Revolver
Estimated Price: $45,000 - $70,000
Item Views 682 Bid Activity Average
Serial #Superb, Silver and Gold Plated, L.D. Nimschke New York Retailer ManufacturerColt Model1862 Police
TypeRevolver Gauge36 Percussion Catalog Page96
Barrel6 1/2 Inch Round FinishSilver/gold GripAntique Ivory
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionColt Model 1862 Police revolver manufactured c. 1864. This revolver features deluxe New York retailer engraving executed by Louis D. Nimschke, relief carved grip and silver and gold-plated finish. The revolver is complete with case and accessories. This revolver is extensively illustrated and described on pages 314-316 of "The Art of the Gun: Magnificent Colts, Vol. II" by R.M. Lee and R.L. Wilson, on page 212 of "Colt Engraving" by R.L. Wilson and on page 326 of "The Colt Engraving Book, Vol. I" by R.L. Wilson. The barrel, frame, trigger guard and back strap are silver-plated, and the loading lever, five-shot fluted cylinder and hammer are gold-plated. The screws and trigger are fire-blued. The left panel of the one-piece grip is relief carved with a Goddess of Liberty motif. The engraving showcases Nimschke's signature Germanic scrollwork on a punch-dot background on the barrel sides and muzzle, cylinder, frame, trigger guard and back strap. The back strap and trigger guard feature scallop and dot borders. The loading lever is encircled with a bat-wing pattern, and the sides of the hammer are decorated with a wolf head motif. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the legend: "ADDRESS COL SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA" in one line. "COLTS/PATENT" is roll-stamped on the left side of the frame in a scroll work panel. The serial number "28899" is stamped on the bottom of the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard and back strap. All of the visible serial numbers match. L.D. Nimschke (1832-1904) is considered to be the best of the 19th century New York City engravers. He was the primary engraver for Hartley, Schuyler and Graham. During the 1860s this firm was one of the largest supplier of military goods in the United States. The Liberty motif on the left grip panel indicates that this revolver was probably intended as an officer's presentation piece during the Civil War. The revolver is complete with a mahogany, American style case and accessories. The case has five compartments and is lined with crimson velvet. The case contains: (1) a silver-plated, fixed charger, powder flask embossed on one side with "COLTS/PATENT", stars and an eagle and shield motif, (2) 250 count tin of Eley percussion caps with original light green label and paper wrapper, (3) blued iron, straight leg, double cavity, bullet mold stamped "COLT'S/PATENT" on the sprue cutter and "31 PKT" on the right block, (4) L-shaped combination nipple wrench/screwdriver and (5) key. Included with this revolver is an annotated description by R.L. Wilson.

ConditionVery fine. This revolver is all original and retains close to 85% of the delicate silver and gold-plated finish. The sliver plating has tarnished slightly but shows only light wear with some finish loss of the edges of the trigger guard and high points. Small amounts of the delicate gold plating present on protected areas of the cylinder. 60% plus of the gold plating remains on the hammer and loading lever. Nearly all of the fire blue finish remains on the screws and trigger. The elaborate and flawlessly executed engraving is deep and sharp. The grip is in very fine-excellent condition with traces of yellow patina and several hairline age cracks on the heels. All of the cylinder safety pins are completed, the percussion nipples show only light flash pitting, and the action is tight and functions well. The mahogany case is in very good condition; the exterior has a few insignificant handling marks and one hairline crack. The faded case interior remains in very good condition; the lining is slightly faded and has some faint compression marks from contact with the revolver muzzle, cylinder and butt. The rare, silver-plated powder flask and other accessories all remain in very fine-excellent condition. This is a superb example of a cased Hartley, Schuyler & Graham presentation grade Colt Model 1862 Police revolver with deluxe engraving by L.D. Nimschke. Provenance: Robert M. Lee Collection.
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