Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 66: Cased Engraved Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Revolver

Auction Date: May 14, 2021

Presentation Cased New York Engraved and Silver and Gold Plated Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Revolver with Carved Mexican Eagle Grip

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $16,000

Presentation Cased New York Engraved and Silver and Gold Plated Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Revolver with Carved Mexican Eagle Grip

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1860 Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 44
Barrel: 8 inch round
Finish: silver/gold
Grip: relief carved antique ivory
Item Views: 1658
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 68
Class: Antique

This revolver was manufactured in 1866 just following the Civil War and was engraved in New York by one of Colt's allies such as Hartley & Graham. It features deep scroll and floral engraving in a very American style, plated in gold and silver, and fitted with a grip carved with the eagle, snake, and cactus design from the coat of arms and flag of Mexico. The barrel has the standard New York address, and the frame has the "COLTS/PATENT" marking on the left. The trigger guard has "44 CAL" on the left shoulder. The revolver is numbered "161703" on the barrel and frame, "1703" on the cylinder as well as the wedge and arbor pin, "161949" on the trigger guard, and "166335" on the butt. It comes in a fitted rosewood case with three cartridge packs, a double sided eagle powder flask with sloped charger, a silver oiler, blued "COLT'S/PATENT" bullet mold, L-shaped combination tool, and two cap containers. The revolver may have been embellished for presentation to one of the Mexican republican political or military leaders following their successful ouster of the French and Maximilian I at the end of the Second French Intervention in Mexico. The engraving on the cylinder removed the scene of the Naval Battle of Campeche which reflected an earlier period of disunity in Mexico and intervention by the Republic of Texas. With the end of the Civil War, President Johnson pressured 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 revolver would have certainly been a fitting presentation piece for a leader of the "Restored Republic" in 1867-1876. Provenance: The John Fox Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine. The loading lever, cylinder, and hammer retain 60% of the original gold plating. The remaining components retain 70% original silver plating and also appear to have traces of gold in the engraving and some protected areas. The balance has mottled brown patina. The trigger guard as some distortions on the left side. The engraving throughout remains crisp. The slightly shrunken grip is fine and has distinct carving, a chip and repaired crack on the upper left, and minor age cracks. It mechanically needs work: the cylinder does not advance when the hammer is cocked. The case and accessories are fine and have minor age and storage related wear and a disabled lock. Overall, this is a very attractive New York engraved Colt Model 1860 Army with a highly attractive, classic Mexican Eagle raised relief carved grip that is fitting for a leader of a country well-known for its gold and silver ore.

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