Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 2: Engraved New Haven Arms Co. No. 1 Pocket Pistol

Auction Date: December 4, 2020

Factory Engraved New Haven Arms Company No. 1 Lever Action Pocket Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,000 - $6,000

Factory Engraved New Haven Arms Company No. 1 Lever Action Pocket Pistol

Manufacturer: New Haven Arms Co.
Model: Volcanic
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 31 Volcanic
Barrel: 3 1/2 inch
Finish: blue
Grip: varnished walnut
Item Views: 1814
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 8
Class: Antique

This Volcanic No. 1 Lever Action Pocket Pistol was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company c. 1858. The pistol has the distinctive octagon barrel with integral six-shot magazine, brass receiver and loading lever with finger hole. The receiver sides, top, back strap and side plates are decorated with the extra cost factory open scroll engraving offered by the New Haven Arms Company. The 3 1/2-inch, .31 caliber, "Type III", non-ribbed barrel has a crowned muzzle, T-bar spring with flat edges, pinch-top font sight and thick, clam-shell shaped follower. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped with the legend: "NEW HAVEN CONN./PATENT FEB. 14.1854" in two lines. The receiver has a semi-circular cut-out at the front of the ejection port, dove tail mounted rear sight, hammer with coarse, hand-cut, knurling and two-piece walnut grips. The serial number is stamped on the left side of the butt beneath the grip and on the inside of both grips. All of the visible serial numbers match. The barrel is blued, the receiver is natural brass, the hammer, lever and trigger are color casehardened; and the bolt, cartridge elevator and rear sight are fire blue. The walnut grips have a varnished piano finish. The New Haven Arms Company manufactured approximately 850 No.1 Lever-Action Pocket Pistols with 3 1/2-inch barrels between 1857 and 1860.

Rating Definition:

Very good plus. This pistol retains 30% of the original blue and casehardened finish. The T-bar spring and magazine follower are period replacements. The barrel/magazine have a mottled brown patina with small amounts of the original blue finish in protected areas. The barrel legend is crisp. The brass receiver is in good overall condition with a very attractive, untouched patina and sharp factory engraving. The right side plate has been removed and the upper edge is battered. Traces of fire blue finish are present on the cartridge elevator and rear sight. The hammer, trigger and lever retain 30% of the mottled case colors with a mottled gray-brown patina. The grips are good overall and retain 60% of the varnished piano finish with scattered handling marks. This is a good example of a scarce and historically significant, factory engraved Volcanic New Haven Arms Company No. 1 Lever Action Pocket Pistol.

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