Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1203: Eli Whitney Type II Percussion Militia Rifle with Saber Bayonet

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Documented Civil War Eli Whitney Type II Percussion Militia Rifle with Saber Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $1,800 - $2,750

Documented Civil War Eli Whitney Type II Percussion Militia Rifle with Saber Bayonet

Manufacturer: Whitney Arms Company
Model: Percussion
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 58
Barrel: 33 inch round
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 586
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 90
Class: Antique

Whitney Militia rifles are described in depth on pages 460-471 of George D. Moller's book "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume III" with this exact rifle pictured on pages 468 and 469 under the description for "Whitney (Type II) Militia Rifle (Model 1855/1841 Configuration)" in which defining features are described. The picture caption on page 468 states, "Whitney Type II militia rifles are equipped with unfinished Model 1855 lockplates and U.S. Model 1855 rifle barrels believed to have been among the condemned components purchased from Harpers Ferry Armory." The picture caption on page 469 states, "The locks of Whitney Type II militia rifles are often described as 'low hump.' Note Whitney's variation of the long-range rear sight." Page 468 states, "The federal government also purchased almost 1,000 Whitney rifles during the Civil War. Several hundred of these are known to have been Whitney militia rifles purchased for the state of Ohio. The Ordnance Department purchased 478 rifles on November 8, 1861, and 500 rifles on February 11, 1862, from arms merchants Schuyler, Hartley & Graham, at $21.00 each." Blade front and ladder rear sight. Model 1841 rifle style stock and brass fittings. Stamped "P.S.NEWTON/HARTFORD CT." on the left stock flat. Includes a period leather sling and brass handled saber bayonet with a brass tipped "OHIO" marked leather scabbard. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Good with scattered mild pitting, dark patina, and clear lock markings. Retains an attractive golden aged patina on the brass bands. Stock is very good as lightly sanded with some light scratches, a crack ahead of the rear lock screw, a gap behind the right rear of the barrel, a gouge at the left front of the trigger guard, a crack with chips on the right of the buttstock, and a crisp stamp on the left flat. Mechanically fine. Included bayonet is very good with sharp edges and some mottled brown patina with some moderate pitting on the tip of the blade, and attractive bright patina on the brass handle. Scabbard is fine and sling is very good with some light age related cracking overall.

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