Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1610: Westley Richards & Co. Retailed Colt Government Model Pistol

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Desirable Westley Richards & Co. Retailer Marked Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol in .455 Eley with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,500 - $6,500

Desirable Westley Richards & Co. Retailer Marked Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol in .455 Eley with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Government
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 455 Eley Auto
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 375
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 311
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

Manufactured in 1915, the included factory letter lists shipment to London Armoury Co. in England on 19 July 1915 in a 200 gun shipment. These Colt Government Model pistols were the pinnacle of handgun technology at the time and were highly sought after by military men and civilians alike. Many of these pistols were shipped to Britain during World War I for private purchase through various retailers by British officers, with this pistol likely meeting the same fate. This specific pistol was sold through Westley Richards & Co., with their marking on the left of the slide above the standard two-line, two-block patent dates and address. Another pistol, four serial numbers away from this one (W19194), is documented as having been carried by Sub-Lieutenant Harry Kemmis aboard HMS Onslaught, which took part in the Battle of Jutland. The left of the frame has the period non-factory added registration number "1123" and "JJ" along with "VP" and "R" on the trigger guard. The right of the frame has the standard Government Model marking and "W" prefixed serial number, with the caliber marking on the right of the slide. British proofs are visible on the frame, slide, and barrel. It is fitted with blade and notch sights, wide checkered hammer, short grip safety, flat smooth mainspring housing with a lanyard loop, diamond pattern checkered grips, and a military proofed .455 Eley magazine with lanyard loop base. The included factory letter also confirms the configuration (grips and Westley Richards inscription not listed). Provenance: The Gus Cargile Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retains 70% plus of the likely retailer refinished blue with the balance having thinned to a smooth grey-brown patina, primarily on edges and the grip straps, and some spotting on the lower portions of the slide and frame. The grips are very good with some scattered minor dings and scratches, and otherwise crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent.

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