Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1017: Fresh to the Market, Well-Documented and Extraordinary Factory

Auction Date: April 14, 2018

Fresh to the Market, Well-Documented and Extraordinary Factory Engraved Special Order Winchester Model 1876 Deluxe Rifle with Factory Letter: The Finest of Its Type Known

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $450,000 - $700,000

Fresh to the Market, Well-Documented and Extraordinary Factory Engraved Special Order Winchester Model 1876 Deluxe Rifle with Factory Letter: The Finest of Its Type Known

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1876
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 40-60 WCF
Barrel: 28 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut checkered pistol g
Item Views: 9400
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 12
Class: Antique

Deluxe, special order Winchester Model 1876 rifle factory engraved by John Ulrich. This rifle is illustrated in color on page 204 of the 1989 edition of "WINCHESTER ENGRAVING" by R.L. Wilson and on 194 of the 1975 edition of "WINCHESTER ENGRAVING". In addition, the rifle is accompanied by a Cody Firearms Museum letter dated 2017 and a 1973 dated letter from the Winchester Gun Museum. The Cody letter describes "Model 1876, serial number 42491" as: "Type: Rifle, Caliber: 40/60, Barrel Type: Octagon, Trigger: Set, Checkered stock, Pistol grip, Sights: Lyman and Beach and Sporting rear, Casehardened" and "Engraved etc.,". The Cody letter further states that this rifle was shipped from Winchester on January 26, 1885. This rifle has the Third Style receiver with integral dust cover rail and dust cover with serrated edges. The barrel and magazine have a blue finish and the dust cover, loading gate and trigger are fire blue. The forearm cap, receiver, hammer, and lever are casehardened with vivid case colors. The pistol grip stock and forearm are deluxe, highly figured, fancy grade walnut with Winchester "Style H" checkering and a semi-gloss finish. The stock has a full checkered black hard rubber shotgun buttplate and the pistol grip has an ebony inlay. The sides of the forearm cap, top of the dust cover, sides, top and bottom of the receiver and the cartridge elevator are engraved with restrained scrollwork and line borders. The right side of the receiver is engraved with a highly detailed grizzly bear head and the left side of the receiver is engraved with a detailed head of a whitetail buck. The engraving was executed by John Ulrich. The 28-inch, full octagon barrel has a gold-plated Beach folding combination front sight and a buckhorn sporting style rear sight with serrated edges. A Lyman "Combination Tang Peer Sight" with fine knurled post and hinged inner aperture disk is mounted on the receiver tang. The receiver has a single set-trigger. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped: "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860." in two lines ahead of the rear sight. "CAL 40-60" is roll-stamped on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and the receiver. "40-60" is roll-stamped in script numerals across the bottom of the brass cartridge elevator. The serial number is stamped in tiny numerals across the lower tang between the lever latch and rear tang screw. This rifle is complete with a custom, French fitted, leather covered oak case. The case exterior has two-tone leather with brass latches and brass reinforcements on the corners. The case has a crimson baize lining and contains two keys in a small compartment with brass handle and empty 20 round carton of Winchester 40-60 cartridges with green picture label. This rifle was formerly part of the Felix Bedlan collection.

Rating Definition:

Utterly magnificent. The barrel and magazine proudly exhibit 98% plus original blue finish showing only the most delicate handling marks. The barrel legend and caliber markings are clear. The dust cover, loading gate and trigger retain 98% plus of the fiery niter blue finish. The forearm cap, receiver, hammer and lever have 98% plus vivid case colors. Wear is limited to some thinning with traces of silver patina on the forward edge of the receiver and some small spots on age discoloration on the bottom of the lever. The exquisitely executed game heads and scroll engraving remain in perfect condition. The deluxe, highly figured walnut stock and forearm are both in excellent condition and retain 98% of the original finish. The checkering on the stock and forearm is extremely sharp. The modern leather covered wooden case is in very good condition. This is a truly magnificent example of a special order, deluxe, factory engraved Winchester Model 1876 rifle that would in fact be impossible to improve upon. The flawlessly executed scrollwork and highly detailed game heads combined with the vivid receiver case colors and overall near mint condition make this Winchester a true marvel, a instant one gun tour de force and collection defining piece. It is Rock island Auction Company's pleasure to present this icon to the collecting community for the first time.

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