Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3166: E. Remington & Sons Thomas Patent Percussion Cane Gun

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Rare E. Remington & Sons Thomas Patent Percussion Cane Gun with Desirable "Ball and Claw" Handle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,500 - $16,000

Rare E. Remington & Sons Thomas Patent Percussion Cane Gun with Desirable "Ball and Claw" Handle

Manufacturer: Remington Arms Inc
Model: Cane Gun
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 31
Barrel: 25 3/4 inch round
Finish: brown
Grip: gutta percha
Item Views: 480
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 109
Class: Antique

Designed by Remington master mechanic, John F. Thomas, Remington's master mechanic, these percussion cane guns were patented in 1858 and produced as an effort to break into the burgeoning market of gentleman's defensive accessories. It is estimated that between 1858 and 1866 only 500 of the percussion cane guns were manufactured, with production being significantly interrupted by the Civil War. This example remains in its original percussion configuration making it even more scarce. Along with that, this particular example has the desirable "ball and claw" handle, fashioned out of the same brown gutta percha as the shaft. It is the writer's experience that far fewer of these "ball and claw" canes survived compared to the "dog's head" or curved/"L" shaped canes, and renowned Remington collector, Elliot Burka, lists them as the second most rare of the standard variations, behind only the "bulbous" handle, in an article for the American Society of Arms Collectors. Examples of these various standard handle styles, including the "ball and claw", can be seen on p. 188 of "Canes From the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century" by Jeffrey B. Snyder. A similar example, serial number 17, incorrectly listed as .44 caliber, can be seen as item no. 322 in "The Karl F. Moldenhauer Collection of Remington Arms" as offered by the Richard A. Bourne Co. There is a small German silver band where the handle meets the shaft and a serrated iron ferrule at the tip/muzzle which is faintly marked "J.F. Thomas Patent Feb 9. 1856" patent markings and "5". It measures 33 1/4 inches overall. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Very fine, showing most of the original attractive brown finish, some scattered light handling marks, and the handle showing moderate wear but retaining its distinct, desirable shape. Mechanically excellent.

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