Rock Island Auction Company
A
B

Lot 1278: Special Order Pair of Engraved Colt Single Action Army Revolvers

Auction Date: September 11, 2021

Exceptional Documented Special Order Pair of Factory Engraved Colt Single Action Army Revolvers with Opposite Relief Carved Steer Head Grips and Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $85,000 - $130,000

A) Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 Long Colt
Barrel: 5 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: original
Stock:
Item Views: 813
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 222
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Description:

This incredible pair of revolvers was manufactured in 1928 and factory engraved with Grade B engraving by Master Engraver Wilbur A. Glahn. The revolvers are accompanied by a pair of Colt factory letters which describes the features as: "Caliber: 45/c, Barrel length: 5 1/2", "Finish: Blue, Type of Stocks: Ivory, Factory Engraved: Yes", and "Special Notation: S.H. L. Stock" (Steer Head Left) for the first revolver and "S.H. R. Stock" (Steer Head Right) for the second. The letters further state that the revolvers were shipped to J.S. Cronthers on October 22, 1928, in order 15371/1 and 15372/1 respectively. The name of the recipient is likely misrecorded. "Cronthers" is a surname that is scarcely recorded in American records whereas "Crothers" is a fairly common surname. If so, the pair may have been shipped to and owned by Private Jackson S. Crothers (1896-1968) of South Dakota who served in the U.S. Army in World War II, or one of several other matching individuals from the period. The barrel, ejector housing, frame, loading gate, trigger guard, back strap, and cylinder of each revolver are decorated with flawlessly executed scroll engraving. The engraving is nearly identical to the engraving on Colt Single Action serial no. 352131 also engraved by Glahn in 1928 and illustrated on page 574 of "The Colt Engraving Book Volume Two" by R.L. Wilson. The two-piece stocks are inlaid with nickel-silver Colt medallions and feature relief-carved steer heads on one side. The steer head is on the left of "A" and the right of "B" as noted in the factory letters. With the pair in a holster rig, a steer head would show on each side, and the pair would have certainly made a nice statement. The pair has the Colt commercial blue finish on the barrels, ejector housings, trigger guards, back straps and cylinders. The frames and hammers are color casehardened. The top of each barrel is roll-stamped: "COLT'S PT.F.A. MFG. Co. HARTFORD CT. U.S.A." in one line. The caliber designation "45 COLT" is roll stamped on the left side of the barrels in a panel formed by engraved line serrations. The left side of the frames are roll-stamped with the Colt three-date, two-line patent marking enclosed by engraved borders and followed by the Rampant Colt trademark surrounded by an engraved oval border. Both revolvers have all matching serial numbers, and matching assembly numbers on the loading gates and rear of the frames (1044 on A and 437 on B). The assembler's number "1" is stamped above the Colt "Triangle/VP" proof mark on the left front of both trigger guard bows.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The revolver retains 95% of the original blue and color casehardened finish with the exception of the back strap. The back strap shows handling wear and the blue finish has aged to a dark patina. The frame and hammer have strong case colors with slight fading on the top strap, recoil shield, loading gate, and top of the hammer spur. The two-piece grips are excellent overall. The grips have a mellow age patina and the relief carved steer head shows light handling wear. The flawlessly executed factory engraving is crisp and deep. Mechanically excellent.



B) Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 Long Colt
Barrel: 5 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Grip: original
Stock:
Item Views: 813
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 222
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Description:

See "A."

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The revolver retains 90% plus of the original blue and original color casehardened finish. The blue finish is thin on the back strap, and there is very light edge wear on the cylinder. The front face of the frame has some scattered age spotting, and the casehardened finish on the top strap has developed a dark patina. The grips are excellent overall with attractive natural aged coloration. The butt of the left grip has a few very fine age cracks. The engraving remains in perfect condition. Mechanically needs work: none of the usual clicks are present, the hammer will not remain cocked, the bolt is retracted, the cylinder does not lock up, and the cylinder rewinds when the hammer is lowered. This is an incredibly rare pair of documented factory engraved First Generation Colt Single Action Army Revolvers with coordinating carved grips. Factory engraved pre-World War II Colt Single Actions Army revolvers are already very rare, but factory engraved pairs are even more so. Combining the rarity of this pair plus their exceptional condition makes the set worthy of the finest museum or personal collection.



Customer Product Questions

There are currently no customer product questions on this lot