This classic factory engraved '49 Pocket was manufactured in 1858 and almost certainly engraved by Master Engraver Gustave Young or his shop. He was Colt's primary engraving contractor from the 1850s and 1860s and was in Germany from July 1858 to the September 1861. The engraving style is certainly in keeping with Young's known work and consists of extensive German-American scroll engraving with beaded backgrounds on the loading lever, barrel, all of the frame, the sides of the hammer, and on the grip frame. The engraving on the left side of the barrel above the loading lever screw includes a screaming eagle head, and the barrel has the fine script "Saml Colt" marking hand inscribed on the top. The left side of the frame has the hand inscribed "COLT S/PATENT" marking in an open panel among the scrolls, and the right side at the rear has a bestial face cleverly among the scroll pattern on the lower corner. While Young is well-known for using animal faces among his designs, the use in this location is unusual and certainly makes this revolver more interesting. The scroll patterns throughout also include various floral accents, and there are some fan designs. The hammer has a wolf head motif. The factory apostrophe mark used to denote revolvers destined for engraving or special finishing is marked on several components. The cylinder has the standard stagecoach hold-up scene. The serial numbers on the loading lever, wedge, arbor pin, cylinder, barrel, frame, trigger guard, back strap, and grip all match. The grip is figured and has a varnish finish.
Very good with crisp engraving, 70% original silver plating, 25% original blue finish on the barrel mainly on the lower flats, a repaired and refinished loading lever tip, smooth gray and brown patina on most of the balance, and mild overall wear. The grip is very good and has mild lower edge wear, light scratches and dings, and most of the high gloss original varnish remaining. Mechanically fine. This is a very attractive '49 Pocket.
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