Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1038: L.D. Nimschke Signed Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Carbine

Auction Date: September 11, 2021

Extremely Rare and Highly Desirable L.D. Nimschke Signed Master Engraved Gold Finished Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Saddle Ring Carbine

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $25,000 - $45,000

Extremely Rare and Highly Desirable L.D. Nimschke Signed Master Engraved Gold Finished Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Saddle Ring Carbine

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1866
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 44 CF
Barrel: 20 inch round
Finish: blue/gold
Stock: highly figured varnished
Item Views: 1429
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 38
Class: Antique

Manufactured in 1872 and featuring a highly desirable, well-executed engraving signed by renowned 19th century master engraver L.D. Nimschke. Nimschke has signed the carbine "L.D.N" just ahead of the serial number on the lower tang. Note the lack of a period following the initial "N," a common feature in Nimschke's signatures, especially those found on engraved Model 1866s. For reference see the signature smoke pulls published in Wilson's "L.D. Nimschke Firearms Engraver," pages 50, 54, and 56. The signatures shown on pages 50 and 54 are also on the bottom of the frame. See page 48 for similar frame engraved motifs, including the scroll banners, as appearing on a Model 1866. It is not often that we catalog works signed by Nimschke. The gold plated brass receiver features gold floral scrollwork on a punch dot background. The left side plate is script engraved with the initials "C.Ch." inside a banner. The right side plate and the front of the right side of the frame are decorated with vacant scroll banners. A fine large star burst is engraved on the chamber. Additional scrollwork appears on the buttplate tang. The brass buttplate is also plated in gold and has a trapdoor containing an original three-piece cleaning rod. The top of the barrel has the two-line Winchester address/King's patent dates marking. The carbine is fitted with a blade front sight integral to the barrel band and leaf rear sight. The breech bolt has a period installed centerfire firing pin. A saddle ring is mounted on the left side of the receiver. Mounted in a nicely figured walnut forearm and straight grip stock. The matching full serial number is on the lower tang and stock inlet. The number "7377" is found on the inside of the buttplate. The butt of the stock under the buttplate is hand marked "J RIVRA/1928."

Rating Definition:

Fine. The barrel and magazine tube retain 25% original blue finish with a mottled brown patina on the balance. There are some tool-like marks on the barrel. The frame retains 40% plus original gold. The exposed brass has an attractive appearance, and the engraving is crisp. 30% of the original nitre blue remains on the loading gate. The wood is fine with much of the original varnish and minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. A rare work of signed steel canvas by internationally famed Master Engraver L.D. Nimschke.

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