The Model 20-S was manufactured for only a brief period following World War I making all examples rare and any special order examples exceedingly scarce. This rifle is one-of-a-kind given the intertwined "ESB" monogram on the top of the receiver ring, the beautiful Ulrich pattern punch dot backed scrollwork engraving and buck and doe scene on the left, bloom on the takedown knob, and the flourish of engraving on the buttplate. The stock and forearm have F pattern checkering, and the right side of the buttstock also has special relief carved duck and floral carving with a stippled background. The embellishment is consistent with the work of Alden George Ulrich who left Marlin for Winchester after World War I. The exact dates vary depending on the source. Winchester Collectors Association board member and historian Bert Hartman indicates he joined Winchester in April of 1920 which leaves a brief period of time for him to have engraved this rifle. The same pattern of engraving can be seen on the Model 1893 rifle engraved by Ulrich on page 536 of "Marlin Firearms" by Brophy. Also note the palmette featured on the nose of the frame matches other Ulrich engraved guns illustrated by Brophy. The barrel has a beaded blade front sight (bead now absent), notch rear sight, Marlin Firearms Corporation address and patent marking on top ahead of the rear sight, and the caliber information on the upper left flat at the breech. The magazine is the pinch release version not the later button type. The upper tang has "Marlin/No. 20-S" on top and the serial number on the left side. The serial number is repeated in the upper tang mortise of the stock.
Very fine with 80% original blue finish, some light thinning, mild cycling and edge wear, distinct and highly detailed master engraving, and light marks. The buttstock is very fine other than the chipped heel and some small chips at the edges of the wrist and has crisp checkering and carving. The forearm is very fine and has crisp carving and mild handling wear. Mechanically excellent. This is a stunning example of fine American firearms engraving and a true work of art.
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