Manufactured in 1903, the first year of production, this pistol is listed on p. 196 of "The Government Models: The Development of the Colt Model of 1911" by Goddard as the very first shipped Model 1903 Pocket Hammer pistol. This specific pistol is pictured on p. 140 of "A Collector's Guide to Colt's .38 Automatic Pistols, The Production History of the 'Automatic Colt Pistol'" by Douglas Sheldon, where it is also listed as the first produced Model 1903 Pocket Hammer pistol. The pistol shipped on 8 December 1903 to M. Hartley of New York, which was the continuation of the legendary Hartley & Graham. The serial number range for these pistols is somewhat odd, starting with this pistol, number 19999, and working down to 16000 before starting again at 20000 and working up. The left side of the slide is marked with the three-line Browning's patent and two-line address in two blocks with the circled Rampant Colt behind the serrations. The right of the slide has the two-line caliber marking. The left of the frame is marked with the serial number as well as the added number "2967". It is fitted with blade and rounded top notch sights, a rounded checkered hammer, checkered hard rubber grips with Rampant Colts and Colt banners, and a full blue magazine marked "PAT'D SEPT.9.1884" on the base. The included factory letter confirms the caliber and finish, as well as the shipment date and location. Provenance: The Dr. Robert Azar Collection
Exceptionally fine, retains 80% plus of the bright original high polish blue finish, 70% of the original case colors, and 60% plus of the original nitre blue with the balance having thinned to a smooth grey patina, primarily on edges and the back strap. The slightly faded grips are very fine with a few scattered light handling marks and crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent.