Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3001: Prototype Lever Action Rifle Marked "MADE BY Joseph Rider"

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Extremely Rare Prototype Lever Action Rifle Marked "MADE BY Joseph Rider Newark Ohio" Underneath the Buttplate From the Remington Factory Museum Collection

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Estimated Price: $15,000 - $25,000

Extremely Rare Prototype Lever Action Rifle Marked "MADE BY Joseph Rider Newark Ohio" Underneath the Buttplate From the Remington Factory Museum Collection

Manufacturer: Remington
Model: Prototype
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 40
Barrel: 29 3/4 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 318
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 8
Class: Antique

At first glance, this prototype lever action tube fed magazine rifle resembles visual similarities of known Marlin lever action rifles designed and patented by Lewis L. Hepburn but is entirely unmarked besides "MADE BY Joseph Rider Newark Ohio" written in black ink in the wood hidden beneath the buttplate. Joseph Rider was an inventor who had more than twenty-five years of a relationship with E. Remington & Sons and is well known for his invention of the Remington Rolling Block rifle along with his Remington pistols and revolvers. He was paid 12 brace of revolvers and 400 acres of Ohio land by E. Remington & Sons for his invention of the Remington-Rider double action percussion pocket revolver, which struck the long-lasting relationship between him and the company. He would reside in Ilion, New York near the company for most of his career, later returning to Newark, Ohio where he was once considered the wealthiest man in the town. Although Joseph Rider held over 100 patents in various fields during his career, no patents related to this lever action rifle have been located at the time of writing this description, and this rifle would be somewhat of an anomaly compared to Rider's other known designs, although it is possible that it is his work. The Remington-Hepburn falling block rifle (patented by Lewis Hepburn in October of 1879) shares a buttstock that resembles what is mounted on this prototype rifle. Lewis Hepburn became superintendent of Remington's mechanical department and sporting arms starting in 1871, and he left to go to Marlin with his lever action designs when E. Remington & Sons went bankrupt in 1886. Hepburn held U.S. Patent number 298,377 dated May 13th, 1884 for a lever action magazine gun that differs from this example while employed at E. Remington & Sons out of Ilion, New York, and would carry that design with him to John Marlin in 1886 where he continued on to become a long time Marlin engineer and designed many of the company's most successful arms that included the Model 1888 through the Model 1897 lever action rifles, and over his thirty year career, secured some twenty patents for Marlin. During their time with E. Remington & Sons, Lewis Hepburn would have worked together with Joseph Rider in a collaborative effort. These two likely worked together on this lever action prototype rifle while at Remington, or it could have actually been designed under Hepburn's direction due to it sharing the same buttstock as his Remington-Hepburn falling block rifle as well as sharing slight visual similarities to his later patented designs of the Marlin lever actions. It should be noted that Hepburn's name is stamped on two other somewhat similar Marlin lever action prototypes in this same auction (Lots 3002 and 3003, and one of which is wearing a brass inventory tag out of the Remington Factory Museum Collection). This example has a round bolt with an attached dust cover on top. The lever has an exposed locking lug extension that connects to a notch in the lever. The loading gate is mounted on the right side of the receiver with a magazine tube running below the barrel. The rifle is fitted with a German silver blade front sight and a semi-buckhorn rear sight. The uncheckered forearm and stock are nicely figured American walnut. Consignor notes indicate this rifle once belonged to Herb Glass Sr. who purchased it from the Remington Factory Museum when they deaccessioned over 300 guns in the 1950s. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine, retaining 85% plus original blue finish with light brown patina on the balance. 60% of the original case colors visible on the sides of the lever with brown patina on the balance. Stock is also very fine with defined edges, a patch of moderate scuffs on the left of the forend, and some scattered light scratches. Mechanically excellent.

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