Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 307: 1893 World's Fair Young Engraved S&W Safety Hammerless Revolver

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Documented and Phenomenal Gustave Young Factory Engraved, Gold Plated, Inscribed Smith & Wesson .38 Safety Hammerless 3rd Model Double Action Revolver with Pearl Grips and Case Exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago

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Estimated Price: $7,500 - $10,000

Documented and Phenomenal Gustave Young Factory Engraved, Gold Plated, Inscribed Smith & Wesson .38 Safety Hammerless 3rd Model Double Action Revolver with Pearl Grips and Case Exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: 38 Safety Hammerless
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 38 S&W
Barrel: 4 inch solid rib
Finish: gold
Grip: pearl
Stock:
Item Views: 468
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 162
Class: Antique
Description:

Rock Island Auction Co. is pleased to present this sensational Gustave Young engraved, gold plated S&W .38 Safety Hammerless Revolver documented as being displayed at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The revolver is identified by serial number in Smith & Wesson's Exposition catalog "Description and Prices of Finely Decorated Revolvers Prepared for World's Fair at Chicago, 1893. The revolver is listed on page 6 with the following description: "Safety Hammerless Revolver, 38 calibre, 3-1/4"barrel, full gold plate, engraved with pearl stock, No. 68309". It is not often that we catalog firearms identified by serial number as being exhibited at a World's Fair. In this case, however, the S&W exposition catalog makes for definitive evidence that this prestigious and historically significant .38 Safety Hammerless was among the highly finished revolvers S&W exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. These exceptionally rare World's Fair showpieces are the embodiment of the high art firearms scene in the late 19th century. A copy of this S&W exposition catalog is included. Also included is an original 1893 Columbian Exposition day ticket for October 9, 1893 and a 12x18 inch period photograph (modern reprint) of the ³Palace of Mechanical Arts, the building where S&W exhibited its fine revolvers during the 1893 Columbian Exposition. World renowned Master Engraver Gustave Young worked with Smith & Wesson as early as 1865 after serving as Colt's Master Engraver and was the in-house engraver for Smith & Wesson starting in 1869 until his death in 1895. His sons, Oscar, Eugene, and Robert, also worked for Smith & Wesson and used similar styles. On this revolver Young's fine exhibition quality scrollwork on a punch dot background covers 90% of the surface. The underside of the barrel has an inscription: "G.H. Kohn Chicago." The trigger guard and barrel release are blued, the trigger is casehardened, and the remaining surfaces are plated in gold. The revolver is wearing highly attractive gold S&W medallion pearl grips. Matching serial numbers appear on the butt, cylinder, and barrel. The period partitioned case contains a case key and a box of Peters Cartridge Co. .38 S&W cartridges.

Rating Definition:

Excellent, retaining 97% original gold plating. The engraving is crisp. The trigger retains traces of original case colors, otherwise faded to an attractive gray. The trigger guard retains nearly all original blue finish. The grips are also excellent with highly attractive fiery colors. Mechanically excellent. The is very good with minimal cracking along the grain and minor handling/storage marks. A definitive work of art prepared by Gustave Young for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago that will add value to even the most advanced S&W or firearms art collection.



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