Lot #3119
Lot #3121

Lot 3120: Documented L.D. Nimschke Engraved Colt Lightning Carbine

Extremely Rare Documented Deluxe L.D. Nimschke Engraved Colt Lightning Magazine Slide Action Carbine with Factory Letter

Auction Date: September 13, 2020

Lot 3120: Documented L.D. Nimschke Engraved Colt Lightning Carbine

Extremely Rare Documented Deluxe L.D. Nimschke Engraved Colt Lightning Magazine Slide Action Carbine with Factory Letter

Auction Date: September 13, 2020

Estimated Price: $95,000 - $140,000
Price Realized:

Extremely Rare Documented Deluxe L.D. Nimschke Engraved Colt Lightning Magazine Slide Action Carbine with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Lightning-Carbine
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 44-40
Barrel: 20 inch
Finish: silver/gold plated
Grip:
Stock: highly figured walnut
Item Views: 2370
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 64
Class: Antique
Description:

This Medium frame Colt Lightning Slide Action Carbine was manufactured in 1888 and engraved by Louis Daniel Nimschke. This carbine is pictured and briefly described on page 193 of "THE BOOK OF COLT ENGRAVING" by R.L. Wilson. The carbine is accompanied by a Colt Factory letter that describes the features as: "Caliber:.44 CLMR", Barrel Length: 20", Finish; Bright" and "Type of Stock: Wood". The letter states that this was one of two Lightning carbines shipped to Schoverling, Daly & Gales in New York, New York, on August 1, 1888. The carbine has a gold plated receiver, hammer, trigger guard butt plate and barrel band. The barrel and magazine are silver-plated. The loading gate, trigger, and screws have a fiery niter blue finish. The stock is highly figured, fancy grain European walnut with a high polish piano finish. The walnut forearm is oil finished with fine checkering. The barrel band, muzzle and sides of the barrel below the rear sight, sides and top of he receiver and upper tang, trigger guard and buttplate heel are engraved with Nimschke's trademark broad Germanic scroll-work on a punch-dot background. The Rampant Colt trademark on the left side of the frame is surrounded by engraved scalloped and double line borders. As the factory letter indicates, this carbine was shipped from Colt to Schoverling, Daly & Gales unfinished or "bright", and subsequently engraved by Nimschke and finished with gold and silver plating. The rifle has the original steel block front sight and dove-tail mounted, folding leaf, rear sight. The left side of the receiver is fitted with a staple-mounted sling ring. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD CT.U.S.A./PATENTED MAY 29.SEPT.18,83. MAY 26, 85.JUNE 15.86.FEB.22.87." ahead of the rear sight. The left side of the barrel is marked "44 CAL" surrounded by an engraved oval border. The serial number "29282" is stamped on the lower tang and surrounded by an oval border. Engraved Colt Lighting rifles are extremely rare. In "THE BOOK OF COLT FIREARMS" author R.L. Wilson estimates that fewer that 40 Lightning rifles were factory engraved and that about 25 Lightning rifles were shipped from Colt to Hartley and Graham in New York for engraving. He notes that other New York dealers like Schoverling, Daly and Gale also received a few un-finished Lighting rifles and had them finished and engraved. The total number of 'New York' engraved Lighting rifles, like this example, is almost certainly less than the 40 Lighting rifles factory engraved by Colt.

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine. Nearly all of the silver-plated finish is present on the barrel and magazine - the silver plating is tarnished and has a very attractive blue tint. The delicate gold-plated finish on the receiver and trigger guard shows light-moderate handling wear on contact points. Most of the plated finish is present in protected areas. The gold-plated finish on the buttplate is mostly absent although a substantial amount remains in the engraving on the heel. The stock is in excellent condition and retains most of the high polish piano finish; wear is limited to a few very insignificant handling and storage marks. The forearm is in excellent condition and retains the original varnish with sharp checkering. The classic Germanic scroll engraving is deep and crisp. This is an exceptional example of what R.L Wilson describes as: "one of the great rarities in Colt collecting" - an engraved Lightning Magazine Slide Action Carbine. Provenance: Formerly from the Mac McCroskie collection.



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