Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 27: Special Order Factory Engraved Deluxe Winchester 1873 Rifle

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Documented Special Order Factory Engraved Deluxe Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Estimated Price: $18,000 - $27,500

Documented Special Order Factory Engraved Deluxe Winchester Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1873
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 44-40 WCF
Barrel: 24 3/8 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: deluxe checkered walnut p
Item Views: 769
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 36
Class: Antique

The factory letter lists this beautiful special order deluxe Winchester Model 1873 rifle with 1/2 octagon barrel, set trigger, checkered pistol grip stock, 1/2 magazine, casehardened finish, and engraving when received in the warehouse on November 21, 1884, and shipped the same day in order 16873. The engraving consists of a circular scene of a stag with three birds overhead and trees and foliage in the background, lined borders, and scroll engraving with floral accents, and the engraving extends to flourishes on the elevator and buttplate tang. The engraving is consistent other Winchesters factory engraved by the Ulrichs in this period, including multiple examples shown on page 93 of "Winchester Engraving" by R.L. Wilson. This third model rifle also features a German silver blade front sight, adjustable sporting rear sight, the two-line address and King's improvement patent marking ahead of the rear sight, "44 CAL" in italics on top at the breech and on the cartridge elevator, and adjustable single set trigger, the serial number and "A" on the lower tang, "5598" and "XXX" on the left side of the lower tang, "S" and "5598" in the upper tang mortise of the stock, "5598" on the toe of the buttplate, beautifully figured XXX fancy walnut pistol grip stock and forearm with Style H checkering and contrasting grip insert, a casehardened crescent buttplate with trapdoor, and a take-down cleaning rod in the stock compartment.

Rating Definition:

Fine with exceptional and crisp engraving throughout, attractive aged patina on the brass elevator, 60% plus original blue finish on the barrel fading to light brown patina and marked with a few small spot from oxidation, 85% plus of the bright original niter blue on the loading gate, 30% original case color with the colors strongest on the protected areas at the rear of the frame and lower tang, areas fading to silver gray or smoky gray patina on the balance, and mild overall wear. The wood is also fine and has beautiful figure on the buttstock, a few scrapes and dings in the otherwise crisp checkering mostly on the left side of the wrist, a hairline crack on the right side of the forearm tip, light scratches and dings, and general mild handling and storage wear. Mechanically excellent. This is a beautiful special order Winchester Model 1873 lever action rifle with classic factory scroll and game scene engraving.

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