The Sharps Model 1852 Sporting Rifle is one on of the rarest Sharps variations with only 606 manufactured in June 1853 to July 1855. Only approximately nine 90 bores were engraved. Of those, only six are listed "extra engraved." The engraving on this rifle is an even higher grade than the "extra engraved" and is more in line with the "extra fine engraved" or even beyond. "Extra fine engraved" is not even noted for this model by Sellers in "Sharps Firearms or in "Sharps Firearms: The Percussion Era" by Marcott, Paxton, and Marron. The near full coverage engraving on the hammer is one of the easiest to spot differences, but also note the more extensive panels of scroll engraving on the barrel at the front sight on the upper three flats, on the top flat midway between the front sight and rear sight, in front of the rear sight, and on the upper three flats in the breech section; the essentially full-coverage engraving on the frame, lever, lock, and patch box; the inclusion of an urn full of fruit and flowers on the right side of the frame, the dog head on inhabiting the scroll engraving on the lock plate, sun burst pattern on the top of the frame at the breech, the interesting exclamation point type design on the left side of the frame, and the engraved oval silver plaque on the left side of the stock. The engraving also extends onto the heel tang of the buttplate. The engraving primarily consists of the German-American scroll engraving associated with Master Engraver Gustave Young who is known to have engraved many of the finest early Sharps rifles. The forend has a pewter forend cap and a small silver plate on the left around the spring pin. It also features a brass blade front sight with dovetailed base, "squirrel ear" rear sight, tang peep sight, adjustable double set triggers, "SHARP'S RIFLE/MANUFG CO/HARTFORD. CONN." on top of the barrel at the breech (early variation due to a die cutting error), "C. SHARPS/PATENT/1848" on the upper tang, "C. SHARPS/PATENT./1852" on the lock, and matching serial numbers found on the barrel, forend, breechblock, upper tang, and patch box.
Very good with crisp engraving and markings, mostly a mix of faded original brown finish and mottle gray and brown patina on the barrel, traces of original case colors and otherwise silver-gray and darker gray patina on the frame and lock, aged patina on the brass patch box and buttplate, attractive aged patina on the re-pinned silver inlay which has some dents, and mild overall wear. The refinished wood is also very good and has mild scratches and dings and a slight flake above the tail of the lock. Mechanically excellent. This is a solid representative example of a factory engraved Sharps Model 1852 Slant Breech with considerably higher than standard grade engraving that will make a fine addition to any collection of Sharps or antique American firearms. It would definitely be difficult to find a more attractive Model 1852.
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