Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 12: Deluxe, Factory Engraved New Haven Arms Company Henry

Auction Date: December 1, 2017

Deluxe, Factory Engraved New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle

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

Deluxe, Factory Engraved New Haven Arms Company Henry Lever Action Rifle

Manufacturer: New Haven Arms Co.
Model: Henry Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 Henry RF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue/gold
Stock: varnished walnut
Item Views: 2171
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 16
Class: Antique

Deluxe, factory engraved Henry lever action rifle manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company late in 1864. The rifle has the distinctive octagon barrel with integral 15-shot magazine and brass receiver. This rifle has the typical New Haven Arms Co. factory engraving found on later production Henry rifles. The engraving features distinctive floral and berry motifs on either side of the forward potion of the receiver, a hound on point on the left side plate and scroll and vine motifs on the right side plate. The engraving covers the top of the receiver and upper tang and the buttplate heel. The engraving on the left side of receiver is nearly identical to the engraving on Henry serial number "9389" illustrated on page 149 of "THE HENRY RIFLE" by Les Quick. This distinctive engraving is believed to have been executed for the New Haven Arms Co. by Samuel J. Hoggson. The brass receiver and buttplate have a delicate gold-plated or gold washed finish with traces of original finish in protected areas. The barrel/magazine is blued and the hammer, trigger and loading lever are color casehardened. The stock is deluxe, highly figured walnut with a high polish piano finish. The barrel has a nickel silver front sight blade and folding leaf rear sight. The rear sight is the late pattern with 900 yard center notch, elevation bar stop screw at the top of the leaf, and elevation bar with rounded ends. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the late, second style legend: "HENRY'S PATENT. OCT. 16. 1860/MANUFACT'D BY THE NEWHAVEN ARMS.CO. NEWHAVEN. CT." in two lines ahead of the rear sight. The second style legend is slightly larger than the legend found on early Henry rifles and utilizes all serif letters. The magazine has the large diameter follower found on all but the earliest Henry rifles and the receiver has a beveled follower slot. The second style receiver lacks the rear sight dovetail found on Henry rifles manufactured thru 1863. The hammer spur has coarse hand knurling. The buttplate is the second style with sharp pointed heel. The buttplate has a hinged trap. The left side of the stock and barrel have the sling swivel and screw fastened loop for a sling hook that was standard on later production Henry rifles. The serial number "7621" is stamped: (1) on the top of the barrel between the rear sight and the receiver, (2) on the left side of the lower tang beneath the stock, (3) in the upper tang inlet of the stock and (4) on the inside of the buttplate at the toe. All of the serial numbers match. The late style buttplate and tang screws are, correctly, not serial numbered. The letter "E" is stamped on the left side of the upper receiver tang and "G" is stamped on the left side of the lower tang above the serial number. "E" and "G" may refer to engraving and gold plating. A small "W" indicating this rifle was inspected by Oliver Winchester is stamped on the lower tang behind the lever latch. Included with the rifle is a 4 piece metal cleaning rod with a brass tip. The rifle is accompanied by copies of e-mail correspondence between the owner and Winchester expert and author R.L. Wilson discussing the gold washed or gold-plated finish. Deluxe factory, engraved Henry rifles with gold or silver plated finishes are rare.

Rating Definition:

Fine. The crisp edge, original barrel has a smooth gray-brown patina with strong traces of the bright original blue finish visible in protected areas. The New Haven Arms Co. legend and the serial number are sharp. Half of the original blue is present on the bolt. The brass receiver and buttplate have a very attractive untouched patina with traces of gold plating on the engraving. The distinctive Samuel Hoggson factory engraving is extremely sharp. The case colors on the hammer, trigger and lever have faded to a mottled silver-gray patina. The highly figured, deluxe, walnut or rosewood stock is in very good condition and has about 80% of the refinished piano finish. There is a spliced period repair visible on both sides of the wrist. This repair is a well executed splice which is almost identical on both sides. Wear is limited to scattered handling marks. This is a fine example of a scarce and very desirable deluxe, factory engraved, gold washed or gold-plated Henry rifle. Only very few Henry rifles had a gold finish which was usually reserved for presentation rifles.

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