Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3068: Rare Colt Pocket Model Paterson No. 1/Fourth Model Ehlers

Auction Date: December 3, 2017

Rare Colt Pocket Model Paterson No. 1/Fourth Model Ehlers Revolver

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

Rare Colt Pocket Model Paterson No. 1/Fourth Model Ehlers Revolver

Manufacturer: Paterson
Model: Baby
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 28 Percussion
Barrel: 2 9/16 Inch
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: varnished walnut
Item Views: 2688
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 53
Class: Antique

Colt/Ehlers Pocket Model Paterson Revolver No 1 (also known as "Baby Paterson" or "Fourth Model Ehlers") manufactured by John Ehlers c. 1840-1843 following the bankruptcy of Samuel Colt's Patent Arms Manufacturing Company using Colt Paterson components. The diminutive Baby Paterson/Fourth Model Ehlers revolver is the smallest Colt percussion revolver. This revolver has the distinctive Ehlers features which include: (1) attached loading lever with retaining spring, (2) capping channel in the right recoil shield and (3) rounded cylinder rear. The cylinder back has ratchet teeth and lacks the cylinder turning ring found on early Colt Paterson revolvers. In addition, the top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the legend "Patent Arms Paterson. N.J.-Colt's Pt.." which eliminates the "M'g Co." marking found on Colt Paterson revolvers. The five-shot cylinder is roll-engraved with the "Centaur Scene" and the "Colt" four horse-head trademark. The serial number, "37" is visible on the inside of the barrel lug and rear face of the cylinder when the revolver is disassembled. The hammer spur has borderless hand-knurling. The revolver barrel, frame and cylinder have a high polish blue finish. The loading lever and hammer are color casehardened. The walnut grip has a beveled butt and varnish finish. The Ehlers Model Paterson revolver is a rare variation of the rare and very desirable Colt Baby Paterson revolver. John Ehlers is believed to have manufactured and assembled approximately 500 Fourth and Fifth Model Ehlers revolvers utilizing components of the Colt Paterson acquired after the bankruptcy of the Colt Patent Arms Manufacturing Company. The Ehlers Model Paterson revolvers are key pieces in the development of the Colt percussion revolver.

Rating Definition:

Fine. This revolver retains 40% of the bright original high polish blue finish on the frame and cylinder. The percussion nipples, front and rear face of the cylinder, frame hammer well and sides of the hammer show only traces of flash pitting. The bore has strong rifling. The cylinder retains nearly all of the delicate Centaur scene. The barrel legend and serial numbers are crisp. The cylinder, right recoil shield, left side of the frame and sides of the hammer have several small spots of deep pitting and the front edges of two nipple cut-outs on the cylinder are battered. These areas exhibit cold blue touch-up throughout. The barrel retains significant amounts of the high polish blue finish with scattered spots of age discoloration. Most of the blue finish remains on the barrel and cylinder. Most of the case colors are present on the hammer. The case colors on the loading lever have faded to a silver patina. Traces of the fiery niter blue finish are present on the barrel wedge. The grip is in very good overall condition and retains about 30% of the original varnish in protected areas. This is a solid representative example of a rare and very desirable Fourth Model Ehlers revolver which is an essential piece in any complete collection of Colt Paterson percussion revolvers.

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