Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1277: Factory Engraved Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Documented Factory Engraved, Nickel-Plated Colt Single Action Army Revolver with Factory Letter

Estimated Price: $25,000 - $37,500

Documented Factory Engraved, Nickel-Plated Colt Single Action Army Revolver with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 Colt
Barrel: 4 3/4 inch round
Finish: nickel
Grip: carved
Item Views: 1003
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 134
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

The Colt letter describes the features of this Colt Single Action Army Revolver as "Caliber: .45/c, Barrel Length: 4 3/4", Finish: Nickel, Type of Stocks: Rubber" and "Factory Engraved: Yes". The letter further states that this revolver was shipped to Von Lengerke & Antoine on 35 S. Wabash Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, for Harry Hessel on March 14, 1925. The revolver has a full nickel-plated finish with Colt "Grade A" factory engraving. The engraving consists of restrained German scrollwork on the barrel, ejector housing, frame, loading gate, cylinder, trigger guard and back strap. The engraving was almost certainly executed by Colt master engraver Wilbur A. Glahn. Although the Colt letter indicates that the revolver was shipped with hard rubber grips; it is fitted with a relief-carved steer head on the right grip with inlaid nickel-silver Colt medallions. These grips are contemporary to the revolver and are found on factory engraved Single Actions in this serial number range. The ejector rod has the late, oval, head and the hammer has border-less knurling on the spur. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped: "COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. Co./HARTFORD CT. U.S.A." in two lines. "45 COLT" is roll-stamped on the left side of the barrel in a panel formed by scrollwork. The Colt 'Two-line/Three-Date' patent markings are located on the left side of the frame in a panel formed by line and scallop borders. The Rampant Colt trademark on the left side of the frame is flanked by line and scroll engraving. The left front trigger guard bow is stamped with the assembler's number "3" above the Colt "Triangle/VP" proof mark. The full serial number is stamped on the bottom of the frame and right side of the trigger guard and back strap beneath the grip. The partial serial number "95" is stamped on the rear face of the cylinder. All of the visible serial numbers match. The assembly number "16" is stamped on the inside of the loading gate and on the right rear of the frame beneath the grip. Approximately 450 Colt Single Action Army revolvers were factory engraved between 1922 and 1940. Surviving examples are scarce and highly collectable.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 85% of the original nickel-plated finish. The barrel has some light finish loss at the muzzle and on the side of the ejector housing with traces of flaking on the scroll-work surrounding the caliber designation. The frame has several small spots of flaking on the right side. The nickel-plating on the grip strap has some scattered flaking with spots of discoloration and light pitting. The edges of the and bottom of the back strap show traces of flaking and spots of age discoloration. The cylinder has small spots of flaking visible on the front and rear edges and chamber flutes. The period replacement factory grips remain in very fine condition with some shrinkage along the back strap, light handling wear and two hair-line age cracks in the bottom. This is an attractive example of a scarce, factory engraved Colt Single Action Army revolver with relief-carved grip.

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