Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 217: Civil War Sharps New Model 1859 Rifle and Bayonet

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Scarce Civil War Sharps New Model 1859 Breech Loading "Egyptian Contract" Percussion Rifle-Musket Issued by the State of Connecticut with Bayonet

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $2,750 - $4,250

Scarce Civil War Sharps New Model 1859 Breech Loading "Egyptian Contract" Percussion Rifle-Musket Issued by the State of Connecticut with Bayonet

Manufacturer: Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company
Model: New Model 1859
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 52
Barrel: 36 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 671
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 106
Class: Antique

This rifle matches the configuration of the aborted Egyptian contract rifles and falls within the correct serial number range (36000-40000) noted for the 600 rifles ordered by the Viceroy of Egypt through the American consul in Egypt in late 1859. These rifles are readily identifiable by their 36 inch barrels with saber bayonet lugs rather than the usual 30 inch barrels. These rifles were inspected by Major Thorton of the New York Arsenal in early 1861. The Egyptians had not paid for the rifles, so they were offered for sale to the U.S. Ordnance Department and purchased by Captain Joseph R. Hawley of Hartford of Rifle Company A (90 rifles) and the State of Connecticut (510 rifles). They were issued to the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 11th, and 14th Connecticut Infantry Regiments. The barrel has a block mounted blade front sight, bayonet stud ahead of the forearm, the three-line Sharps address ahead of the Lawrence patent notch and ladder rear sight, and "NEW MODEL 1859" on top at the breech. The lock and frame have the standard Lawrence and Sharps patent markings. The serial number is marked on the upper tang. It has three barrel bands, a leather sling fitted to the swivels on the middle band and underside of the butt, an added nickel silver plaque on the left side of the wrist, and an iron patch box. "GDM" (George D. Moller) is stamped in small letters by the toe. The bayonet is has a 21 7/8 inch blade dated "1861" on the right ricasso and is marked "36701" in large numerals over a smaller number that appears to have been "38?37" on the back of the brass hilt. Provenance: The George Moller Collection

Rating Definition:

Good with the metal surfaces bright polished and exhibiting primarily silver-gray patina, some areas of light brown patina, and some light pitting. The markings are crisp on the frame and light on the barrel. The wood is very good and has a small patch of filler near the forend tip on the right, some erosion on the left by the breech, general light scratches and dings, and mild overall wear. Mechanically fine. The bayonet is very good with gray patina on the blade and aged patina on the brass hilt. The sling is also very good. This is a scarce Sharps rifle variation that will add variety and interest to any Civil War collection.

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