Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 160: Colt Model 1861 Navy Percussion Revolver

Auction Date: May 14, 2021

Exceptional Civil War Era Cased Colt Model 1861 Navy Percussion Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $20,000 - $30,000

Exceptional Civil War Era Cased Colt Model 1861 Navy Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1861 Navy
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened/silver
Grip: antique ivory
Item Views: 1487
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 159
Class: Antique

The Model 1861 Navy is one of the most popular Colt percussion revolvers, but they are considerably rarer than Colt's other Civil War era revolvers. Only 38,843 of these revolvers were manufactured compared to over 200,500 of the Model 1860 Army and around 272,000 Model 1851 Navy revolvers, and examples in excellent condition are nearly unheard of and especially valuable. This revolver was manufactured in 1864 for the commercial market and may have been privately purchased for use as a sidearm during the Civil War. However, unlike the vast majority of Civil War era revolvers, it is in exceptionally high condition and appears to have seen little to know use and has clearly been very well cared for. The high polish blue finished barrel has a German silver blade front sight, "-ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-" on top, a casehardened "creeping" loading lever, and the matching serial number, "20372", on the bottom of the lug. The cylinder also has the bright high polish blue finish and displays the classic Naval Battle of Campeche roll scene and "COLTS PATENT No 372." The casehardened frame has "COLTS/PATENT" on the left, the full serial number on the bottom at the front, and a capping groove. The wedge and arbor pin are "372" and "0372" respectively. The trigger guard and back strap were plated in silver and have the matching full serial number. The left side of the trigger guard also has a "B" at the front and "36 CAL" on the rear. The grip is checkered. The accompanying April 1976 dated letter from the late noted collector and dealer Herb Glass, Sr. to Kim Zarintash states that the revolver once belonged to auto giant Henry Ford's nephew, W.B. Ford III, who had purchased it in from Glass in 1970. Glass states, "The gun is 100% original including the rare checkered grip." The portioned case contains a double face stand of arms and flags powder flask, "L" shaped combination tool, sealed package of navy belt pistol cartridges, sealed Eley cap tin, few lead rounds, and blued bullet mold marked "COLTS/PATENT" on the sprue cutter and "36B" on the right side. Provenance: The Mac McCroskie Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent. 90% plus bright original high polished blue finish remains on the barrel and 75% plus bright original high polished blue finish remains on the cylinder with the balance a smooth brown patina. Nearly all of the crisp cylinder scene remains. 95% original case colors remain on the loading lever, frame and hammer. The grip straps retain 97% age darkened original silver plating. The grip is also excellent with crisp checkering and an attractive mellow appearance. Mechanically excellent. The case is very good with minor handling/storage marks and moderate high spot wear visible on the lining. The combination tool retains 90% original nitre blue. The flask retains more than half of the original lacquer. The mold retains 85% original blue finish. A highly attractive Colt Model 1861 Navy revolver that would be hard to improve upon. As Herb Glass, Sr. stated in the letter, "This '61 is an exceptional Colt that any advanced collector would be proud to own."

Customer Product Questions

There are currently no customer product questions on this lot