Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3153: Civil War U.S. Whitney 1861 Navy Percussion Rifle with Bayonet

Auction Date: September 12, 2021

Outstanding Documented Civil War U.S. Whitney Model 1861 Navy Percussion Rifle with Number Matching Saber Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,000 - $14,000

Outstanding Documented Civil War U.S. Whitney Model 1861 Navy Percussion Rifle with Number Matching Saber Bayonet

Manufacturer: Whitney Arms Company
Model: 1861
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 69
Barrel: 34 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 376
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 94
Class: Antique

These Plymouth rifles are described in depth on pages 507-513 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms Volume III", with this exact rifle photographed on the bottom of page 510. Manufactured under a July of 1861 contract, with delivery of 10,000 rifles completed in 1864. The Plymouth Rifle was manufactured on the recommendation of Navy ordnance officer John A. Dahlgren and was based on the French Model 1849 "Chasseurs de Vincennes" percussion rifle. It features a .69 caliber rifled barrel with bayonet lug on the right side, long range leaf sight graduated to 1,000 yards, trigger guard with spur finger grip and ramrod with large cylindrical tip pierced with a small hole. The stock has a sling swivel fitted ahead of the buttplate. The iron components are finished "National Armory Bright" and the stock is oil-finished black walnut. The 1862 dated lock is decorated with a large eagle/shield ahead of the hammer and is marked "U.S./WHITNEY-VILLE" in two lines. A navy "anchor" is marked on top of the barrel at the breech. The barrel tang is marked with the number "2441" (the 1 is inverted). A small "W" sub-inspector's mark is stamped on the left barrel flat. The included saber bayonet has a 22 3/8 inch polished steel blade with spear point. The brass hilt has cast-ribbed grips and a bird's head pommel with matching serial number to the rifle "2441" marked on the flat of the hilt. The bayonets were originally numbered to match the rifles and rarely do; however, this example does in fact have it's number matching bayonet! The reverse ricasso is stamped "COLLINS & CO" in an arch above "HARTFORD/CONN". The scabbard has a black leather body with brass tip and throat and a round frog button. "GDM" (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock. Also included is a period leather sling and wood tampion. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent plus, as issued overall with nearly all the original armory bright finish remaining with patches/specks of very light surface oxidation on the front band and behind it on the barrel. The stock is also excellent showing the original oil finished walnut with the original feathered grain. The saber bayonet and scabbard are both excellent with the blade still showing the original bright polish overall and a highly attractive bright patina on the brass hilt. The scabbard is also excellent with most of the original black leather color with only minor handling marks and scratches in a few places. The brass throat and tip both have their original mustard yellow brass patina. An outstanding 1861 Whitney Plymouth rifle with it's matching saber bayonet, a rare combination!

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