Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 2461: Gough Engraved Colt Government Model Pistol

Auction Date: December 1, 2018

Iconic Presentation Special Factory Order William Gough Master Exhibition Engraved and Gold Inlaid Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol Single Digit Serial Number C5 Presented by Colt Agent Albert Foster, Jr. to His Attorney, James Bowen

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $180,000 - $250,000

Iconic Presentation Special Factory Order William Gough Master Exhibition Engraved and Gold Inlaid Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol Single Digit Serial Number C5 Presented by Colt Agent Albert Foster, Jr. to His Attorney, James Bowen

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Government
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: checkered
Stock:
Item Views: 4974
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 208
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Description:

Offered here is the most iconic and desirable of the four William Gough engraved Colt firearms made on special order for Colt's New York agent Albert Foster, Jr. to present to his attorney, James Bowen. The other three guns Foster presented to Bowen were a Flattop Target Single Action Army Revolver (no. 162882), Officer's Model Target Revolver (no. 420470), and New Service Target Revolver (no. 14515). This "unprecedented set of four matching handguns" is documented in R.L. Wilson's "The Colt Engraving Book, Vol. II" on pages 604-605 and 608. This pistol is pictured on page 608. As Wilson notes, "Matched sets made up of different model firearms are of utmost rarity in the field of decorated Colt firearms; a set of four engraved and gold inlaid, dating pre-World War II, is unique in the author's experience." The pistol is listed by serial number in William Goddard's "The Government Models" as having been shipped to Albert Foster, Jr. in September 1912. Foster served as Colt's New York office manager for many years and accumulated one of the nation's premier private firearms collections. Manufactured in 1912, this first day production Government Model Pistol, serial number C5, features elaborate class D+ engraved coverage with Gough's characteristic shading background lines that run through the slide markings. The lanyard area and magazine base are also ornately engraved. Ahead of the rear sight are the gold initials "JB" for James Bowen. These same initials are engraved on the grip safety. The mainspring housing and front grip strap are finely knurled. The pistol is equipped with a target type rear sight and a bead front sight. The diamond checkered grip panels feature a gold letter "T" initial in the center. The grip screws are engraved to match.

Rating Definition:

Excellent, retaining 97% plus original blue finish overall. The replacement grips are excellent as correct to the period of manufacture with crisp checkering and attractive color. Mechanically excellent. A highly attractive and well-known Gough master engraved single digit serial number Government Model ordered by noted Colt agent and gun collector Albert Foster, Jr. that is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the serious Colt collector!



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