Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 10: Engraved Venditti Lever Action Pistol

Auction Date: September 11, 2020

Extremely Scarce Engraved Venditti Lever Action Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $7,000

Extremely Scarce Engraved Venditti Lever Action Pistol

Manufacturer: Venditti
Model: Repeating
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 9 mm
Barrel: 6 3/4 inch octagon
Finish: blue/bright
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 2158
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 15
Class: Antique

This extremely scarce lever action pistol is one of only 350 manufactured across the first and second models of Italian maker Pietro Venditti. This pistol is similar in many ways to the American Volcanic Pistols, and until recently was thought to have influenced Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson in their design. It is now surmised, that Venditti did not have his first experience with firearms design until after his release from prison in 1860, well after Smith & Wesson had patented their design. This is supported by the lack of any appearance of this mechanism in the "Catalogue of the Great Exhibition" printed in 1851 where Smith and or Wesson supposedly got the idea, as well as the fact that no documentation exists showing either man leaving the United States at that time. For more information on this subject see pages 145-148 of "Volcanic Firearms: Predecessor to the Winchester Rifle" by Edmund Lewis and Stephen Rutter. The barrel bears the second model style marking "VENDITTI E CI LANCUSI" on the top flat. This marking is flanked by factory engraved scrollwork that extends to the top of the frame, frame sides at the front, side plates, and back strap. The frame is brass with iron side plates. The pistol has fixed sights, a 10-shot tubular magazine, two piece checkered grips with escutcheons, and lanyard swivel.

Rating Definition:

Fine, showing the 50% of the original blue remaining on the sideplates. The barrel, lever, and hammer have a polished bright finish and areas of light pitting. The grips are very fine with some dings and scratches and well-defined checkering. Mechanically needs work as the elevator does not properly function. Provenance: Dr. Gerald Klaz collection.

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