Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 12: S&W Lever Action Repeating Pistol-Carbine with Detachable Stock

Auction Date: September 11, 2020

Extremely Rare Documented Factory Engraved Smith & Wesson Lever Action Repeating Pistol-Carbine with Detachable Stock

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $55,000 - $85,000

Extremely Rare Documented Factory Engraved Smith & Wesson Lever Action Repeating Pistol-Carbine with Detachable Stock

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: Volcanic
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 41 Volcanic
Barrel: 16 1/2 inch
Finish: blue/silver-plated
Grip: rosewood
Stock: rosewood
Item Views: 2239
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 18
Class: Antique

This factory deluxe engraved Smith & Wesson Lever Action Pistol-Carbine was manufactured by S&W as a display piece. This is one of six pistol-carbines manufactured by S&W and one of only two pistol-carbines known to collectors. This carbine, serial number "2" is extensively illustrated and described on pages 35-36 of "VOLCANIC FIREARMS" by Edmund Lewis and Stephen Rutter. The pistol-carbine has a Type III frame which lacks the hump behind the hammer found on earlier S&W frames and 16 1/2-inch full-octagon barrel with integral magazine. The barrel has a crowned muzzle, rounded T-bar spring, full rib, small clam-shell shaped follower and dove-tail mounted front sight. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped: "PATENT/FEB. 14. 1854", "SMITH & WESSON/NORWICH. CT." and "CAST-STEEL" in three blocks. The receiver has a sporting style rear sight with elevation wheel, lever with finger spur and single lever spring screw. The hammer has fine hand-cut knurling on the spur. The serial number "2" is stamped on the left side of the frame beneath the grip. The two-piece, flared butt, rosewood, grips have a high polish piano finish. "2" is stamped on the inside of both grips. The detachable carbine stock is attached to the pistol by lug that fits a hole in the back strap and is secured by a thumb-wheel on the pistol butt. The stock is highly figured rosewood with a piano finish and crescent steel buttplate. The top and sides of the barrel, sides and top of the receiver, sideplates, cartridge elevator, back strap, top of the hammer, bottom of the lever, stock yoke and buttplate are engraved with detailed scroll and feather motifs. The barrel is blued and the receiver is silver-plated. The hammer, trigger, lever, stock yoke and crescent buttplate are color casehardened. The description in VOLCANIC FIREARMS states this pistol-carbine was acquired from the Wesson family by sporting goods dealer Abercrombie & Fitch of New York City and were purchased by Allen S. Kelly.

Rating Definition:

Very fine. This extremely rare pistol-carbine is all original and retains 80% of the blue and silver-plated finish. The barrel/magazine retains 90% of the blue finish with crisp engraving. The S&W markings on the top flat are clear. The front sight blade is broken and the barrel cap has a 2 inch crack on the left and top flats. The delicate silver-plated finish on the receiver is frosted with tarnish and scattered age discoloration but remains 70% intact. The fine scrollwork engraving on the receiver and sideplates is crisp. The rear sight has a dark patina with traces of fire blue finish. The case colors on the hammer, trigger, lever, stock yoke and buttplate have aged to a smooth, mottled, gray-brown patina. The grips retain 80% of the piano finish with some scattered flaking and shallow handling marks. The highly figured rosewood stock is in very fine condition and retains 90% of the piano finish with a few scattered and very insignificant storage marks. Typical minor bolt adjustment needed. This is an extremely rare and very well documented display grade Smith & Wesson Lever Action Repeating Pistol-Carbine with detachable stock. This unique pistol-carbine would be a standout piece in the finest collection of historic American firearms. Provenance: Wesson family, Abercrombie & Fitch, Alan S. Kelley, Calhoun Norton and Dr. Gerald Klaz.

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