Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1209: Sharps Model 1850 Percussion Sporting Rifle

Auction Date: April 14, 2018

Incredibly Scarce Sharps Model 1850 Percussion Sporting Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $12,000 - $18,000

Incredibly Scarce Sharps Model 1850 Percussion Sporting Rifle

Manufacturer: Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Model: 1850
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 54 percussion
Barrel: 34 1/4 inch octagon
Finish: brown/casehardened/blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 782
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 103
Class: Antique
Description:

The Model 1849 and 1850 Sharps sporting rifles are among the rarest of all the Sharps variations. Only approximately 150 Model 1850 sporting rifles were manufactured. Two were reportedly owned by John Brown. This model is also known as the "Second Model" and is very similar to the original Model 1849 Sharps (First Model) other than the different priming system. Like the First Models, the Second Models were initially manufactured for Christian Sharps by A.S. Nippes in Mill Creek Pennsylvania c. 1850. Additional Model 1850s were built by George Penfield under Sharps' supervision in Hartford, and by William Robertson who bought up parts from Sharps in 1852. It has a dovetailed blade front sight, professionally made replacement notch rear sight with long base terminating in an arrow finial, "A1" and a ramrod channel cut into the bottom barrel flat, "C.SHARPS/PATENT/1848" on the top of the receiver ring, some small single letter markings on several components (mostly "N"), a Maynard primer, standard Model 1850 style breech block, and smooth stock and forearm. There are no visible Maynard or Nippes markings. It is also in .54 caliber rather than the usual .36 or .44 and has a smooth transition at the breech rather than the "shelf" style edge found on the sides in-line with the nipple housing on most Model 1850s (see page 19 of "Sharps Firearms" by Sellers for comparison).

Rating Definition:

Fine. The barrel has a smooth blend of period refurbished brown finish and light brown patina and sharp edges. The rear sight and remaining components have a dark blend of bluish case colors and brown patina. There is mild pitting and oxidation concentrated by the nipple, on the patch box, and on the lever. The rear sight elevator and wedge are absent. The wood is very good with mild scratches and dings and a few insignificant small chips at the edges. The lock and breech function excellently, but the trigger must be manually reset. This is a very scarce Sharps model missing from most of even the most advanced collections. Provenance: Robert M. Lee Collection.



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