There is no single revolver that stirs the imagination of 19th century fine arms collectors more than the legendary Colt Single Action Army, particularly factory engraved, Texas shipped examples by the hand of Wilbur Glahn. From the time he arrived in Hartford in 1919 until the spring of 1950, Wilbur Glahn did the bulk of the engraving for Colt. His death in 1951 signaled the end of one of America’s family dynasties of firearms engravers. He left behind a legacy of high quality craftsmanship and design, which is certainly showcased on this SAA. The accompanying factory letter confirms the 7 ½ inch barrel in .45 caliber, nickel plating, checkered grip straps and 4 ½ lb. trigger pull (both rare special order factory features). The type of stocks are “not listed.” The revolver was shipped to famed Fort Worth, Texas, dealer Wolf & Klar on May 25, 1927. Glahn’s stylistic floral scrollwork on a matte background appears on the frame, top strap, recoil shield, loading gate, cylinder flats, trigger guard, top of back strap, butt, rear barrel section and ejector rod housing. Amongst the engraving on the sides of the frame are floral blossoms. Simple wavy line motifs decorate the top of the ejector rod housing and rear of the cylinder. The embellishment covers 50% of the surfaces. As confirmed in the factory letter, the special order grip straps are checkered. The barrel is stamped with the one-line Hartford address on top and “45 COLT” on the left side. The left side of the frame has the three date, two-line patent marking followed by a Rampant Colt. The left side of the trigger guard has the Colt factory inspection markings (“3” and triangle factory proof). The grips feature silver Rampant Colt medallions, and the right panel is decorated with a wonderful relief carved eagle/shield motif. As noted by Colt historian R.L. Wilson, factory relief carved grips are rare with those encountered generally featuring a steer head motif. The eagle motif on this grip set is especially rare. Matching serial numbers are on the frame and right side of the trigger guard and back strap under the grip panel. Matching assembly number “1110” is on the loading gate and rear of the frame. Using the most liberal statistics only 2,500 First Generation Colt SAAs of the 357,800 manufactured were factory engraved
Excellent plus, a near mint Wilbur Glahn Colt factory engraved masterpiece, retaining 99% plus untouched original nickel finish with only the slightest handling marks. The grips are also excellent with typical age lines, crisp carving and attractive color and grain pattern. A highly desirable Texas shipped Glahn engraved SAA in incredible condition.
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