Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3045: Factory Engraved Marlin Deluxe Model 1894 Takedown Rifle

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Stunning Factory Engraved Silver Plated Marlin Deluxe Model 1894 Takedown Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $14,000 - $25,000

Stunning Factory Engraved Silver Plated Marlin Deluxe Model 1894 Takedown Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms Co
Model: 1894
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 32 WCF
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue/silver
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 470
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 48
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Manufactured in 1900, this high condition, two-tone Marlin Model 1894 Takedown Rifle features factory engraving. The accompanying factory letter confirms the 24 inch octagon barrel in .32 caliber and pistol grip stock and the rifle was shipped on October 21, 1900. Although not confirmed by the factory letter, the engraving, blue and silver finishes 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." These features certainly make for a rare factory engraved Marlin Model 1894. The silver plated receiver is decorated with scrollwork, borders and game scene in a circular panel. The vignette depicts a stag in a woodland scene on the left side of the receiver. The embellishment is very similar to Marlin's No. 1 pattern as illustrated in Brophy's "Marlin Firearms" on page 531. Famed master engraver Conrad Ulrich engraved most of the work for Marlin c. 1881 to 1910 while his son, Alden George, engraved for Marlin c.1905 to 1919. The Marlin patterns, including the motif featured on this rifle, were established by Conrad Ulrich and were influenced by the works of renowned 19th century master engravers L.D. Nimschke and Gustave Young. Conrad Ulrich spent a lifetime embellishing some of the finest high art firearms of the late 19th century to early 20th century and, at the time this rifle was manufactured, was performing most of the engraving for Marlin. The receiver, lever, takedown collar, forend cap and buttplate are plated in silver. The barrel and magazine are blued. The rifle is fitted with a combination Beach front sight, elevation adjustable buckhorn rear sight, and a Marble folding tang peep sight. The top barrel flat is stamped with the two-line address/patent dates legend ahead of the rear sight and "32 W" at the breech. The highly figured select walnut forearm and pistol grip stock feature factory No. C checkering. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine. The barrel and magazine retain 85% plus original blue finish with thinning to brown on the balance. The takedown ring, receiver, lever and forend cap retain 98% plus original silver plating. The engraving is crisp. Hints of original case colors remain on the hammer. The buttplate retains 97% original silver plating. The wood is very fine with some minor handling marks, a short hairline stress crack at the lower tang, most of the original varnish remaining and overall crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. An outstanding example of Marlin artistry at the beginning of the 20th century that will make a great addition to even the most advanced collections.

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