Manufactured in 1851, this is an extremely rare example of a factory engraved Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver with squareback trigger guard. The revolver is factory engraved with the early Hartford engraving described by R.L. Wilson as "vine style" in "The Book of Colt Engraving", consisting of well-executed scrollwork on the frame, hammer, back strap, trigger guard, barrel lug and upper barrel flats and the sides of the loading lever. Many of the engraved panels have chain or double line border. A punch-dot stamped above or below the serial number on the barrel lug, loading lever, frame, trigger guard and back strap indicates that the component was designated by Colt for special finish or engraving. The top barrel flat is marked "-ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW-YORK CITY-" and "COLTS/PATENT" is stamped in small letters on the left side of the frame. The cylinder is roll-engraved with the Texas Navy battle scene and "COLTS PATENT NO3171". The complete matching serial number "3171" is stamped on the loading lever, barrel lug, cylinder arbor pin, frame, cylinder, trigger guard and back strap, and the wedge is numbered "669". Blue barrel and cylinder, casehardened hammer, frame and loading lever, and silver plated trigger guard and back strap. Fitted with a smooth varnished one-piece walnut grip.
Very good. The metal surfaces have an untouched dark patina. There is some roughness and scattered pitting on the barrel. The front and rear face of the cylinder show flash pitting, the safety pins are battered and 60% of the naval scene remains. The brass trigger guard and back strap retain 40% of the silver-plated finish. The grip is very good with 30% of the varnish remaining and showing some moderate handling wear and scattered handling marks. The engraving and markings are sharp. This is a rare example of an early production Squareback Model 1851 Navy revolver with early vine style factory engraving.
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