Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3042: Factory Engraved Marlin Deluxe Model 1889 Rifle

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Factory Engraved Marlin Deluxe Model 1889 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

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Estimated Price: $9,500 - $14,000

Factory Engraved Marlin Deluxe Model 1889 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms Co
Model: 1889
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 32 WCF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: highly figured checkered
Item Views: 308
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 46
Class: Antique

The accompanying factory letter confirms the 24 inch octagon barrel in .32 caliber and pistol grip stock. The letter also states the rifle was shipped on June 18, 1892. Although not confirmed by the factory letter, the engraving and deluxe checkered pistol grip stock are definitely factory. As noted Marlin expert William Brophy explained, "Unfortunately, the few remaining factory records do not, with any regularity, indicate if the gun was factory engraved or not." Factory engraved Model 1889s are rare with high condition examples like this one being even rarer. When this rifle was engraved, famed Master Engraver Conrad Ulrich was engraving for Marlin. Marlin engraving patterns are based on Ulrich's designs, and the engraving on this example certainly matches Ulrich's craftsmanship. The casehardened receiver features a Marlin factory No. 3 pattern as illustrated in Brophy's "Marlin Firearms" on page 531. The engraving is defined by scrollwork, scroll and line borders and a stag game scene in a circular panel on the left side. The top barrel flat has the two-line Marlin address/patent dates marking ahead of the rear sight and "32-W" at the breech. The top of the receiver is marked "MARLIN SAFETY." The rifle is fitted with a German silver blade front sight and an elevation adjustable buckhorn rear sight. The buttstock is fitted with a casehardened crescent buttplate. The highly figure deluxe walnut forearm and pistol grip stock are checkered in the No. B pattern. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine. The barrel and magazine tube retain 90% original blue finish with a few patches of pitting towards the muzzle. 85% vivid original case colors remain on the receiver with a spot of corrosion on the top right. 60% original case colors remain on the hammer, lever and buttplate. The loading gate retain 95% original nitre blue. The wood is excellent with some minor handling marks, overall crisp checkering and most of the original varnish remaining. Mechanically excellent. An outstanding factory engraved Marlin Deluxe Model 1889 Rifle worthy of the most advanced public or private collections.

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