This high condition Colt Model 1851 Navy was manufactured in 1861 and has the larger trigger guard that characterizes the Fourth Model Navy revolvers. Given its year of production, it would have been a prime candidate to have been purchased as a sidearm for a soldier or officer during the American Civil War and may be early enough to have been one of the thousands of Colts sent to the South as the war loomed on the horizon. A large portion of Colt's production in 1860 and early 1861 is believed to have been sold to southern buyers, and 1851 Navy revolvers in the 90000 to 100000 range are seen as likely candidates to have been sent south. Comparably few Civil War era Colt revolvers remain in high condition like this one, especially those that were used by the Confederates. The barrel has a brass cone front sight and is marked with the desirable second style address: "- ADDRESS SAML COLT HARTFORD CT.-" widely believed to have been adopted by Colt to cater to southern buyers before the outbreak of the war. The cylinder is decorated with the roll engraved Naval Battle of Campeche scene. "COLTS/PATENT" is marked on the left side of the receiver. The matching serial number is visible on the barrel, trigger guard, cylinder and back strap. The loading lever is marked with the partial serial number "9403" and the same is correctly handwritten in black ink in the rear mortise of the grip. All of the visible serial numbers match. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection
Excellent, with 95% original blue finish on the barrel, 80% of the muted original case colors blending with gray and brown patina, 85% original silver plating on the trigger, guard, 40% original silver plating on the back strap, attractive aged patina on the silver plating and exposed brass, crisp and complete cylinder scene, distinct markings, 75% original blue on the cylinder, half of the pins complete, the vast majority of the original niter blue finish on the screws and trigger, and relatively light edge and handling related wear overall. The grip is also excellent and retains nearly all of the original high gloss varnish and displays mild wear at the lower edges. Mechanically excellent. This is an exceptional example of a Civil War era Colt Model 1851 Navy.