Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3142: U.S. Capital Police Inscribed Colt Model 1855 Pocket Revolver

Auction Date: May 16, 2021

Extremely Rare, Cased U.S. Capital Police Inscribed Colt "Root" Model 1855 Side Hammer Percussion Pocket Revolver

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

Extremely Rare, Cased U.S. Capital Police Inscribed Colt "Root" Model 1855 Side Hammer Percussion Pocket Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1855 Root Pocket
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 28
Barrel: 3 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 1026
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 90
Class: Antique

This Model 2 variant of the Colt Model 1855 was manufactured in 1860 with the standard markings and features and is also period (possibly factory) inscribed with "US CAPITOL POLICE NO. 8" along the back strap. It comes in a period hardwood case with a cartridge pack, Eley Bros. cap tin, small double sided patriotic motif powder flask, and a blued dual cavity iron bullet mold with "COLT'S/PATENT" marked sprue cutter. The case and accessories are consistent with another known Capitol Police revolver set and a third is rumored to be in existence. The United States Capitol Police trace their roots back to the early 1800s but were officially formed in 1828 to provide security for the U.S. Capitol following the assault on John Adams II, son of sitting president John Quincy Adams, by reporter Russell Jarvis. In 1860, that job would have been especially critical as the country careened towards Civil War and tensions were high both in the Congress and out in the streets among the populace. Numerous acts of violence had been committed in the capitol during the period. The caning of Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the Senate in 1856 by Representative Preston Brooks is the most famous, but a brawl between Northern and Southern politicians broke out in the capitol in 1858. Tensions, and chances of even more severe violence were certainly higher in the 1860s, both in Congress and out in the streets. Only a few of these revolvers are known to exist, and given this is "No. 8," we can presume that multiple officers carried these Colts. The Capitol Police had been a rather obscure law enforcement organization until recent events at the U.S. Capitol Building in January of this year, likely elevating their desirability and importance to collectors today and in years to come. Provenance: The Dr. Kevin Doring Collection, Collection of a gentleman

Rating Definition:

Fine. The revolver retains 60% of the original blue finish, a thinner cold blue over light pitting visible on the cylinder, and fading to an even brown patina along the back strap. There is some minor oxidation and pitting concentrated on the rear of the cylinder and the recoil shield suggestive of actual use. The hammer and loading lever retain 75% original case colors. The grip is very fine and has glossy original finish, minor edge wear, some slight flakes at the lower edges around the butt tang, and some minor marks and scratches. Mechanically excellent. The case is very good and has mild storage wear, including a spliced piece and small chip around the key hole, and warped lid. The accessories are also very good and have minor age and storage related wear. The mold and flask retain the majority of their original finish. This is an incredibly rare and interesting late antebellum era Colt revolver in high condition complete with a case and accessories that is sure to enhance any antique Colt or American arms collection.

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