Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3145: Historic Engraved and Silver Bacon Arms Co. Revolver

Auction Date: September 12, 2021

Historic Civil War Factory Engraved Bacon Mfg. Co. First Model Pocket Percussion Revolver with Patriotic Silver Grips Inscribed to Harrison E. Bacon "From his Loving Father," Gunmaker Thomas K. Bacon, in 1862 as He Prepared to Head to War

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $3,500 - $5,500

Historic Civil War Factory Engraved Bacon Mfg. Co. First Model Pocket Percussion Revolver with Patriotic Silver Grips Inscribed to Harrison E. Bacon "From his Loving Father," Gunmaker Thomas K. Bacon, in 1862 as He Prepared to Head to War

Manufacturer: Bacon Arms Co
Model: Pocket
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 31
Barrel: 4 inch octagon
Finish: silver
Grip: metal
Stock:
Item Views: 511
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 90
Class: Antique
Description:

For collectors of the arms of Thomas K. Bacon, it can't get much better than this. This incredible Civil War revolver has "Harrison E Bacon" inscribed on the right grip and "From his Loving Father/August 1, 1862" inscribed down the back strap. No documentation on the identity of Harrison E. Bacon was included, but his identity has been identified: he was Private Harrison E. Bacon (1836-1889), son of Thomas K. Bacon (1813-1873) of the Bacon Mfg. Co., who enlisted in Company C of the 18th Regiment of Connecticut Infantry on August 1, 1862. The barrel has "BACON MFG. CO. NORWICH. CONN." Factory scroll engraving is featured on the sides of the barrel and frame. The cylinder has the oval hunting themed scenes, and the revolver has matching serial numbers on various components. The silver plated grips have an eagle, patriotic shield, and flags on the left, scroll borders, and an escutcheon on the right. The 18th Regiment was organized in Norwich in August 1862 before heading to Baltimore and mainly served in the Department of West Virginia. Much of the regiment was captured on June 15, 1863, at the Second Battle of Winchester, paroled July 2, and finally exchanged on October 1, 1863. They regrouped and engaged in further action against the Confederacy, including at the Battle of New Market, Battle of Piedmont, and Second Battle of Kernstown. They lost 152 men during the war, including four officers and sixty-seven enlisted men either killed or mortally wounded. Little about Bacon's life following the war is known other than that he appears to have returned to Norwich and was buried there. He was married to Elizabeth A. Bidwell Bacon (1830-1902), and they appear to have had no children. Thomas Bacon was a former machinist for Allen & Thurber who was a key figure in multiple arms companies in Norwish during his lifetime, including Bacon & Company, Bacon Manufacturing Company, and Bacon Arms Company. Little is known about him after he sold his interest in the latter in 1865. The company continued to manufacture revolvers until 1888. Provenance: The Richard P. Mellon Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine. 85% plus of the period replated silver plating remains with some minor flaking mainly at the muzzle, light pitting under the plating on cylinder, and with a mellow aged patina overall. The engraving, inscription, and markings remain distinct. The grips are also very fine and retain an attractive aged patina on the silver and have minor edge wear. Mechanically fine. This is certainly among the most historic of all Bacon firearms: a revolver presented by the founder to his son as he prepared to leave for war. Imagine if Samuel Colt had given one of his sons a revolver during the Civil War the day they enlisted. It would be worth a fortune today! As Thomas K. Bacon gave his son this beautiful revolver, he no doubt feared his son would never come home, but Private Harrison E. Bacon and the Union survived the war, and this revolver has survived to the present.



Customer Product Questions

There are currently no customer product questions on this lot