Manufactured at the end of 1916, this Colt Model 1903 was subsequently embellished on behalf of the factory with very attractive, near full coverage engraving. The left side of the slide is marked with the standard two-line, two-block patent dates and address, followed by the circled Rampant Colt behind the serrations. The right side of the slide has the standard two-line caliber marking. The serial number is in an engraved banner on the left of the frame and a "VP" proof is on the left of the trigger guard. The slide and frame are both profusely engraved with floral scroll on a punchdot background with some sunburst patterns scattered throughout. Interestingly the engraving on the top of the slide features a cockatrice fairly discreetly worked in amongst the scroll surrounding the ejector port. The finely figured grips are also ornately embellished, each featuring a checkered center with a scalloped border. Includes the original box which has a label marked "'ENGRAVED.'" on the end of the lid just above the standard Colt label. The included factory letter confirms the caliber and barrel length, lists the finish as "soft", noting that the soft finish the pistol was shipped unfinished for engraving outside the factory. The letter also lists shipment to W.E. Potter at Armory 125, Colt's Patent Firearms Mfg. Co. in Hartford, Connecticut. The identity of W.E. Potter is currently unknown, but period newspapers local to Hartford reveal a local businessman by that name. Obviously, the aforementioned individual had close association to Colt in order to receive this exceptional pistol, most likely a gift. Provenance: The Dr. Robert Azar Collection
Very fine, retains 85% plus of the blue finish with the balance a smooth grey patina, primarily on high spots and the grip straps, and some scattered light handling marks. The grips are excellent with some scattered light handling marks and crisp grip checkering. Mechanically excellent. The box is good with some moderate wear, torn lid corners, and one long side of the lid absent.
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