Rock Island Auction Company
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Lot 1144: Factory Engraved Pair of Colt Model 1860 Army Revolvers

Auction Date: May 15, 2021

Cased Pair of Factory Engraved Silver Plated Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Revolvers with Extraordinary Relief Carved Mexican Eagle Grip

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

A) Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1860 Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44
Barrel: 8 inch round
Finish: silver/gold
Grip: antique ivory
Stock:
Item Views: 824
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 107
Class: Antique
Description:

Each revolver was manufactured in 1865 and features matching Colt factory engraving. The engraving is in a vine pattern without shading in the Gustave Young style. Several of the scrolls terminate in floral blossoms. The engraving on the barrel sides extends to the top, terminating just ahead of the one-line New York address. The barrel wedges have a matching engraving. The hammers are engraved with a wolf’s head on both sides of the noses and fish scales on the sides of the spurs. Both revolvers feature serial numbers on the barrel, frame, trigger guard and back strap marked along with the letter “E,” which was used to denote factory engraved revolvers. The left side of the 3-screw frames cut for a shoulder stock have the hand engraved “COLTS/PATENT” in an upward arch. The cylinders have the standard naval scene and are marked “COLTS PATENT.” The left side of the trigger guards are marked "44 CAL." The revolvers feature a full silver plating while the hammers, cylinders and loading levers appear to have a gold wash over the silver. The screws are niter blue. The revolvers wear a fantastic relief carved Mexican eagle grip on the left side of the “A” and on the right of the “B.” This is a true factory pair as “A” no. 154299 and “B” no. 154304 are only 5 numbers a part. “A” cylinder lacks a serial number. “B” cylinder is numbered to a different gun (“4204”, possibly a factory error as ”4204” is also on the wedge). The wedge on “A” is correctly numbered to the gun. Both “A” and “B” have respective matching full or partial serial numbers on the barrel, frame, trigger guard, back strap, and arbor pin. The revolvers are housed in an original partitioned case lined in burgundy velvet and containing a “COLTS/PATENT marked double face trophy of flags and arms silver plated powder flask, silver plated two cavity steel bullet mold marked “COLT’S/PATENT” on the sprue cutter and “44H” on the right side, silver plated “L” shaped combination tool, few lead rounds, 2 Eley cap tins, case key, and small container. This set certainly would have made for a fine presentation piece for a Mexican politician or military officer. With the end of the Civil War, President Johnson pressured the Napoleon III to back down and unofficially armed the Mexican republicans against Maximilian and the foreign supported Mexican imperial forces. With the withdrawal of French forces, Maximilian was left scrambling to hold power and issued increasingly brutal orders, including a decree calling for the execution of any member of an armed band in a futile attempt to end resistance to his rule. He was captured and executed himself by firing squad on June 19, 1867. The set would have certainly been a fitting presentation piece for a leader of the "Restored Republic" in 1867-1876.

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine, retaining 85% plus original silver plating with general loss on both grip straps and hints of original gold wash on the loading lever, cylinder and hammer. The engraving is crisp. The cylinder retains nearly all of the roll-stamped scene and has some light blistering to the plating. The grip is excellent with some minor handling marks, crisp carving and attractive color and grain. Mechanically excellent. The case is very good with a couple cracks on the lid, minor-moderate handling/storage marks and faded lining showing strong burgundy color under the recesses for the revolvers and implements with typical high spot wear. The replated silver plated powder flask, combination tool and bullet model are all fine.



B) Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1860 Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44
Barrel: 8 inch round
Finish: silver/gold
Grip: antique ivory
Stock:
Item Views: 824
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 107
Class: Antique
Description:

As described in "A".

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine, retaining 90% original silver plating showing general carry and use wear and hints of original gold on the loading lever, cylinder and hammer. The engraving is crisp. The cylinder retains nearly all of the roll-stamped scene. The grip is excellent with some minor handling marks, crisp carving and attractive color and grain. Mechanically excellent. A very desirable, beautiful rare factory engraved, Mexican eagle stocked Model 1860 cased set with accessories likely presented to a high ranking Mexican military officer or politician.



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