Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3036: Marlin Model 1897 Lever Action Bicycle Rifle

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Rare Marlin Model 1897 Lever Action Bicycle Style Rifle with Marlin Factory Letter and Brophy Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,500 - $9,500

Rare Marlin Model 1897 Lever Action Bicycle Style Rifle with Marlin Factory Letter and Brophy Letter

Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms Co
Model: 1897-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 22 RF
Barrel: 16 inch round
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 433
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 41
Class: Antique

Manufactured in 1897, the barrel has the standard two-line address/patent marking in front of the rear sight. The model designation is on the upper tang, and the serial number is on the bottom of the receiver. Fitted with beaded blade front and elevation adjustable rear sights. Mounted with a smooth forearm and straight grip stock with a checkered hard rubber buttplate. The included 1983 dated factory letter lists this rifle as having a 24 inch round barrel in .22 caliber when shipped on July 22, 1897 to an unknown recipient. Also included is a 1988 dated letter from William S. Brophy written on Marlin letter head stating that from his examination of the rifle it appears that the bicycle rifle configuration is in fact the factory installed original. He goes on to state that this conclusion was made because the magazine is, from his observation, original and not cut down that the barrel must be as well. In "Marlin Firearms" Brophy states on page 243 that only 216 1897s were manufactured as bicycle rifles, and only 97 were manufactured with round barrels. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine, retaining 95% original blue finish on the barrel and magazine with some light spots of thinning to brown. The receiver retains 80% plus original vivid case colors with a gray brown patina on the balance. Wood is also very fine with handling marks and scattered dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent.

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