Rock Island Auction Company
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Lot 156: Documented Cased Pair of Colt Model 1855 Pocket Revolvers

Auction Date: May 14, 2021

Scarce Documented Cased Pair of Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer Pocket Revolvers

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $14,000 - $22,500

A) Colt 1855 Sidehammer Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1855 Root Pocket
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 31 percussion
Barrel: 3 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: varnished walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 523
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 154
Class: Antique
Description:

This cased set of .31 caliber Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer Pocket revolvers and accessories are pictured and discussed on pages 92-93 of Wilson and Hable's COLT PISTOLS. They write "Among the true rarities in Colt casings are cased pairs from the Model 1855 Sidehammer series. Pistols Nos. 370 and 1124 may well be unique, due mainly to the casing: Leather covered wood, with a contour-lined interior…The extra fine condition overall suggests the set saw little, if any, use but undoubtedly was a conversation piece for all who saw it." The pair of 'Model 3A' revolvers have 3 1/2-inch octagon barrels, fluted five-shot cylinders, round loading levers and 5/8-inch capping cut-outs in the recoil shields. The barrels are roll-stamped with the second style legend, without the pointing hand. "PATENTED SEPT. 10th 1850" is roll stamped in the cylinder flutes of both revolvers. The serial numbers are stamped on the underside of the barrel and on the butt of both revolvers Both revolvers have the Colt high polish commercial blue finish on the barrels, cylinders and frames. The loading levers, hammers, triggers and cylinder pins are casehardened. The barrels have brass cone front sights and the hammer spurs have bordered knurling. The one-piece walnut grips have a high polish piano finish. The revolvers are in a wooden, French-fitted dealer case. The case has a black painted finish and the lid is secured with two hooks. The case is lined with brown velvet and has seven compartments. In addition to the revolvers, the case is complete with: (1) a blued, iron, straight leg, .31 caliber, double cavity bullet mold for round balls and conical bullets marked "COLT'S/PATENT" on the top of the sprue cutter (Rapley #M25), (2) American Flask and Cap Co., pocket pistol flask with fixed charger embossed with the 'Eagle and Shield' motif and "E.PLURIBUS UNUM." in a ribbon on both sides (Rapley, p.309, Fig.7 and 8), (3) Combination tool for Root Sidehammer pistols (Rapley #T19), and (4) assortment of lead round balls and conical bullets. The case has a compartment for a cap tin but no tin is present.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 80% of the high polish blue finish. The barrel shows only very minor edge wear. The finish on the cylinder is thin with an area of cold blue touch up on two chambers. The back strap and butt have some handling wear and much on the blue has faded to a smooth, dark patina. The hammer, cylinder pin, trigger and lever retain at least 95% of the fiery case colors. The excellent grip has a few minor handling marks with nearly all of the original piano finish. The barrel and cylinder markings are crisp. The action functions fine.



B) Colt 1855 Sidehammer Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1855 Root Pocket
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 31 percussion
Barrel: 3 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: varnished walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 523
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 154
Class: Antique
Description:

As described in "A".

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 60% plus of the original blue finish with light edge wear and scattered handling marks. There is light-moderate flash pitting on the percussion nipples and surrounding areas of the cylinder. The hammer, cylinder pin, trigger and loading lever retain at least 90% of the casehardened finish. There is a small chip in the front of the walnut grip; the balance of the grip is exceptionally fine with minimal handling wear. The markings and serial numbers are crisp. The cylinder will not turn when the hammer is cocked. The case exterior shows moderate-heavy wear and retains half of the black dyed finish. The interior is very good, the lining is clean, unfaded and shows minimal wear. The bullet mold is good-very good; most of the blue finish remains but there are a number of dents on the edges of the mold body and sprue cutter. The powder flask is fine and retains 75% of the faded original brown lacquer finish, the top and charger has 50% of the gold plated finish remaining and most of the fire blue finish remains on the spring. The combination tool is excellent and retains 90% original fire blue finish. This is an excellent cased pair of .31 caliber Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer Pocket Revolvers.



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