Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 208: Nimschke Engraved Smith & Wesson No. 3 American Revolver

Auction Date: May 14, 2021

Documented Nimschke New York Engraved Smith & Wesson No. 3 American 2nd Model Single Action Revolver in Rare .44 Henry Rimfire with Lion Head Cap and Relief Carved Mexican Eagle Grips

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,000 - $14,000

Documented Nimschke New York Engraved Smith & Wesson No. 3 American 2nd Model Single Action Revolver in Rare .44 Henry Rimfire with Lion Head Cap and Relief Carved Mexican Eagle Grips

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: American
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44 Henry RF
Barrel: 6 inch solid rib
Finish: nickel
Grip: antique ivory
Stock:
Item Views: 1152
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 191
Class: Antique
Description:

Manufactured from 1872 to 1874. This is one of approximately 3,014 very rare 6" No. 3 American 2nd Models chambered in the highly prized .44 Henry rimfire cartridge. Of the 3,014 produced, only 2,157 lack a notched hammer like this example. Many Rimfire chambered American's went to Mexico through the S&W distributor Wexell & DeGress where they saw hard use. Fine condition examples like this revolver are rarely encountered. Overall this is a very rare variation of the No. 3 American that features a period New York scroll engraving on a punch dot background as well as a relief lion's head grip cap. Matching assembly numbers on the cylinder, barrel and barrel latch. The revolver is pictured in John Parsons' "Smith & Wesson Revolvers" on page 128. A relief carved Mexican eagle decorates the right grip panel. Provenance: The Dr. Gerald Klaz Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine as period New York engraved, retaining 85% nickel plating with flaking on the balance. The engraving is crisp. The slightly age shrunken grips are also very fine with some minor handling marks and a crisp carving. Mechanically excellent. A very interesting and rare No. 3 American in .44 Henry with New York engraving, carved Mexican eagle grip and lion head grip cap. Truly one of the most rare short barrel examples of Smith & Wesson's earliest large frame revolvers, highly embellished and first documented and photographed -- in 1956 -- by John Parsons. A perfect addition for the S&W collector who thinks he/she has seen it all!



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