Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3394: World War I Presentation Colt Government Model Pistol

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Outstanding Cased World War I Presentation 1917 Production Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $14,000 - $22,500

Outstanding Cased World War I Presentation 1917 Production Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Government
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 629
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 220
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Bore Condition: -

This is an outstanding example of a cased presentation commercial Colt Government Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol that was manufactured in 1917. The case has a pebble grain leather exterior and is lined with dark green velvet. On the inside of the lid is a screw fastened brass plate inscribed "Presented to/Capt. Herbert F. Staples/-by-/Chas.A. Adams Frank H. Nutting/M.F. Bragdon W.D. Rockwood/Jas. R. Meaney Henry L. Russell/Fred L. Moses David Stern/E.C. Street/Sept. 6. 1917." Captain Herbert F. Staples originally enlisted with the Salem Light Infantry of Massachusetts, also designated as Company H, Eighth Regiment Infantry, in 1878, was promoted to Captain in 1886, and remained active duty for an extended period. He later moved to Medford, Massachusetts where he was involved in various clubs and organizations, and put in command of Company B in the Old Guard, a semi-military organization formed in March of 1917. As a decorated Captain, this 1911 pistol appears to have been presented to him as a token of appreciation for his service in the Old Guard. During the Boston police strike of 1919, Herbert Staples saw service with his militia at the Commonwealth Armory. The pistol has the Colt high polish commercial blue finish. The barrel is blue with polished chamber top. The left side of the slide is marked with the two line, two block 1897-1913 patent dates and Colt address with the Rampant Colt behind the serrations, and the right side is marked "COLT AUTOMATIC/CALIBRE 45". The right side of the frame is marked "GOVERNMENT MODEL/C 89246". The upper left side of the trigger guard bow is stamped with the Colt triangle "VP" proofmark and a "1" assembler's mark on the lower left rear. The top of the receiver is stamped with the "S" production order mark behind the disconnector and a "1" assembler's mark to the right of the disconnector. Standard low profile fixed sights, unmarked two tone magazine with lanyard loop on the bottom, lanyard loop on the heel and fitted with checkered walnut grips with a diamond pattern around the screws. Included with the pistol is an extra two tone magazine with a lanyard loop on the bottom and a military marksmanship patch which consists of two crossed Model 1911 pistols embroidered on a circle of olive drab wool. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent plus. The pistol retains 99% plus of the bright original high polish blue finish showing some very light spotting on the upper left side of the slide and on the front of the trigger guard. The barrel retains 98% original blue finish with some light wear near the muzzle. The grips are also excellent plus with some light handling marks and sharp checkering. Both magazines are in excellent plus and retain 98% of the original blue finish. The markings are sharp. Mechanically excellent. The exterior of the leather case is excellent. Wear is limited to some minor scuff marks on the bottom of the case. The case interior is very good with a tear on the material covering the detached hinge area with some high point wear. The brass presentation plaque has nearly all of the original lacquer finish. This is an outstanding example of a rarely encountered cased, presentation Colt Government Model 1911 semi-automatic pistol.

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