This is a very scarce variation of the Third Model Dragoon manufactured for sale in England from 1853 to 1857 with a total production of only approximately 700 in its own serial number range of 1 to 700. The basic manufacture of these Dragoons was done in Hartford, but a great many were finished in Colt's London factory. Some were hand engraved with the Col. Colt London address on top of the barrel, the rest were marked "ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY" as is the case with this revolver. Approximately 200 of these Dragoons remained unsold as late as 1861 and came back to America to be utilized in the Civil War. This revolver has the distinctive round trigger guard of the Third Model, the barrel and cylinder were blue, casehardened frame, hammer and loading lever, and a silver plated brass grip frame. The cylinder is roll engraved with the Ranger and Indian battle scene, as well as the "MODEL U.S.M.R./COLT'S PATENT" marking. The left side of the frame is marked "COLT'S/PATENT". Besides the distinct serial number range the only other noticeable difference in this revolver are the "crown/V" and "crown/GP" London proofs on the left side of the barrel lug and on the cylinder alternating between each nipple recess. The matching serial number is marked on the cylinder, barrel, frame, trigger guard, back strap, loading lever, wedge and arbor pin. Fitted with a smooth one-piece walnut grip. The top of the back strap has the inscription "EN DIEU J'ESPERE" (in God I hope) in an arch above an image of an archer and initials (see image). This engraving is likely the period owner's crest, motto and initials, and has been previously purported as Scottish. Due to the "B" last initial and fairly unique nature of the crest we believe it to be that of either the Bower family or Bowman family, as both have this crest listed in Scottish heraldry registries, though this cannot be definitively confirmed as neither family's record lists a motto.
Very good plus. The revolver is mostly a mixture of mottled gray and smooth dark brown patinas with traces of original blue in the protected areas on the barrel, especially under the loading lever. Most of the fine original cylinder scene remains. The grip straps retain traces of original silver plating in the protected areas, especially near the trigger, with the exposed brass having an attractive patina. The varnished grip is very good with a few moderate dents and a missing chip near the bottom (right side). Mechanically fine.
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