Lot #3015
Lot #3017

Lot 3016: Ulrich Signed Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Rifle

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: September 8, 2019

Lot 3016: Ulrich Signed Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Rifle

Auction Location: Rock Island, IL

Auction Date: September 8, 2019

Estimated Price: $45,000 - $65,000
Price Realized:

Documented Conrad Ulrich Signed Factory Exhibition Panel Scene Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle Masterpiece

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1866
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44 RF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 1752
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 18
Class: Antique
Description:

This extraordinary Conrad F. Ulrich signed factory exhibition engraved Winchester Model 1866 is pictured and identified in R.L. Wilson's "Winchester Engraving" on page 116. Ulrich has signed his masterpiece in five places: just behind the trigger, ahead and behind the lever latch, and twice on the left side of the receiver among a fleur-de-lis engraving. The frame, forend cap and buttplate are richly decorated and are of extremely high grade factory work from the period. The panel scenes and most of the borders are semi-relief engraved. For the female nude on the right side of the receiver Ulrich copied the popular 19th century sculpture by Hiram Powers titled "The Greek Slave." A buck and doe scene completes the right side of the frame. The left side of the receiver has a wonderful running deer scene and an additional female nude. The borders were influenced by Victorian and neo-Gothic art and architecture, and these motifs are extended to the forend cap and buttplate tang. Engravers of the period, like Ulrich, often stylized their engraving patterns from various sources. The engraving on this rifle shares similarities to another Conrad Ulrich identified engraved Model 1866, serial number 79994, which is also pictured in "Winchester Engraving" (page 117). The top barrel flat is marked "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860", and the barrel is equipped with a German silver blade front sight and folding ladder rear sight. It retains the rimfire bolt. Sling swivels are attached to the underside of the forend cap and buttstock. The forearm and straight grip stock are highly figured walnut. The brass buttplate has a trapdoor containing a four piece cleaning rod. The left side of the lower tang is marked "VXXX." The stock inlet is numbered to the gun.

Rating Definition:

Very good. The barrel and magazine tube retain traces of original blue finish in the protective areas with the balance a smooth brown patina with a few patches of minor pitting. Some traces of original nitre blue remain on the loading gate. The brass has a rich, attractive appearance. The engraving is crisp. The refinished wood is also very good with a loose chip on the wrist (left side) and some minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent. This documented Model 1866 is a great Ulrich masterpiece that would be a fine addition to even the most advanced Winchester collections. It is not often that we catalog signed work by Conrad Ulrich.



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