Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1048: Montana Cattle Baron's Smith & Wesson 32 Single Action Revolver

Auction Date: May 15, 2021

Documented Montana Cattle Baron Owned Smith & Wesson .32 Single Action Revolver with Box and Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $1,300 - $1,900

Documented Montana Cattle Baron Owned Smith & Wesson .32 Single Action Revolver with Box and Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: 32 Single Action
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 32 S&W
Barrel: 3 1/2 inch solid rib
Finish: nickel
Grip: hard rubber
Item Views: 600
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 38
Class: Antique

The accompanying factory letter states the revolver was shipped on May 26, 1878 and delivered to M.W. Robinson of New York City. Comes with a correct period box. The included statement of provenance certifies that the revolver was once part of the Conrad Warren estate and was "owned by Johnny Bielenberg, the half brother and business partner of Conrad Kohrs in his cattle business based on Cotton Wood Creek at Deer Lodge, Montana." The Kohrs-Warren family was associated with the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site at Deer Lodge, Montana. As perfectly explained on the National Park Service website, "Wide open spaces, the hard-working cowboy, his spirited cow pony, and vast herds of cattle are among the strongest symbols of the American West. Once the headquarters of a 10 million acre cattle empire, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site preserves these symbols and commemorates the role of cattlemen in American history." Kohrs and Bielenberg were among the first cattle ranchers to recover from the disastrous winter of 1886-1887 that left tens of thousands of head of cattle dead. The recovery included the adaptation of modern ranching methods such as purchasing purebred breeding stock, raising and storing feed and fencing. Kohrs earned the nickname "Montana's Cattle King". The ranch was authorized as a National Park in 1972. Provenance: Johnny Bielenberg, Conrad Warren estate, The John Fox Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent, retaining 98% plus original nickel finish with slight muzzle wear and some minor handling marks. 97% original case colors remain on the hammer. Mechanically excellent. The box is fine showing some fading and wear. The grips are fine with a scrape on the left panel and overall crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. As the personal property of a noted Montana cattle baron who aided in the modernization of cattle ranching, this .32 Single Action Revolver will add dimension to any S&W or American frontier collection.

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