Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1748: Historic Engraved & Gold Inlaid Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Auction Date: December 4, 2021

Historic and Elaborately Decorated Engraved and Gold Inlaid Documented Colt Single Action Army Revolver with Pearl Grips

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $16,000 - $25,000

Historic and Elaborately Decorated Engraved and Gold Inlaid Documented Colt Single Action Army Revolver with Pearl Grips

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 45 long Colt
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch round
Finish: blue/coin
Grip: pearl
Item Views: 770
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 365
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

Manufactured originally as a Colt SAA revolver in 1970, this revolver was masterfully engraved for Turner Kirkland, the founder of Dixie Gun Works in Union City, Tennessee. Kirkland was a pioneer in the field of replica firearms and one of the most influential figures in the world of firearms in the 20th century. Noted author and historian R.L. Wilson said that "Turner Kirkland's impact on the firearms business of the 20th century in many respects rivaled that of Colonel Samuel Colt in the 19th century". Kirkland had the revolver commissioned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Single Action Army revolver. The revolver was sent to Liege, Belgium to be done by Rene DeWilde, a Master Engraver with Fabrique Nationale (Browning). The revolver is finished in a deep rich blue finish with a coin finished cylinder profusely inlaid with 24 karat gold relief scroll engraving on the barrel, ejector rod housing, ejector rod head, cylinder, frame, backstrap and trigger guard. There are low relief gold borders on the frame, cylinder, ejector rod housing, hammer, back and trigger guard straps. The sides of the frame, cylinder flats, hammer sides, backstrap and recoil shield are nicely foliate scroll engraved, with relief gold scroll on the cylinder breech. The revolver is decorated with the following relief gold inlays: the Rampant Colt on the loading gate, Sam Colt's bust on the top of the backstrap, a "long horn steer" on the rear of the right side frame, a buffalo on the right front, a cowboy on a horse on the upper right front of the frame, "1873-1973" on the right side of the barrel amid the scroll, a wigwam on the left upper front of the frame, the United States seal on the recoil shield, an Indian Chief on the lower left side of the frame and the backstrap is engraved and inlaid "100th Anniversary of The Colt S.A.A." in a banner. Two flush gold inlaid bands wrap the barrel at each end and all standard markings are done with flush gold inlay. The revolver is signed on the front edge of the backstrap "DEWIL R" in gold. The revolver is fitted with high polished smooth pearl grips with gold Colt medallions. The revolver is accompanied by a typed description and summary of the revolver by R.L. Wilson. This revolver is pictured in color in "The Colt Engraving Book" by R.L. Wilson. According to Wilson, the Kirkland-Rene DeWilde Centennial Single Action Army revolver is "One of the most elaborately decorated and historic Colt Single Action Revolvers of the 20th Century". Also accompanying the revolver are copies of correspondence between Kirkland and "Armaf" detailing the work to be done to the revolver and a thank you letter from Kirkland to Armaf dated January 29, 1973 acknowledging receipt of the revolver and his plans to display it. This fantastic undertaking was accomplished in 1972.

Rating Definition:

Near mint as elaborately master embellished by Rene DeWilde. Mechanically excellent. This is simply an exquisite piece that would be the center piece in any advanced engraved Colt collection and make the most advanced engraved Colt collectors envious.

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