This model was initially manufactured by Robbins & Lawrence for Sharps in Windsor, Vermont, and was later manufactured by Sharps in Hartford. Around 10,519 were manufactured. Model 1853s were used by John Brown, Henry Ward Beecher, and other abolitionists during the violent clashes between pro-slavery and free soil factions during the lead up to Kansas statehood, earning them the nicknames the John Brown Model and Beecher's Bibles. "Bleeding Kansas" is considered by some contemporaries of the era and modern historians as a clear indications that the issue of slavery was inevitably going to be settled through violence not deliberation. Brown also used and captured some of these famous arms during his raid on Harpers Ferry. The U.S. military had purchased around 250 of these carbines, and this carbine falls within the 15000-16000 range of those known to have been sent to Harpers Ferry, possibly captured and used by Brown, and later captured and used by the Confederates. It falls close to a few of the guns specifically documented as having been at Harpers Ferry, but not all of the Harpers Ferry carbines are documented. This carbine has a rounded brass blade front sight, notch and folding ladder rear sight, standard Sharps markings, "M" on the left barrel flat, matching serial numbers (barrel, forearm, upper tang, and patch box; not disassembled to check other parts), "JPC" and "RHKW" catouches visible on the left of the wrist, the early type saddle ring bar on the left linked to the brass barrel band, and a smooth stock and forearm. Writer cannot fine any information on U.S. inspected 1853 Sharps, but cartouches are authentic.
Fine with 30% original blue and casehardened finish, aged patina on the brass, gray and brown patina on the faded areas of the steel, some light spotting, and mild wear. The case colors are particularly vibrant above the hammer. The wood is also fine with clearly legible cartouche with mild scratches and dings throughout consistent with light use. Mechanically excellent.
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