Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 53: Factory Engraved Marlin Deluxe Model 1891 Rifle

Auction Date: December 3, 2021

Special Order Factory Engraved Marlin Deluxe Model 1891 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $6,500 - $9,500

Special Order Factory Engraved Marlin Deluxe Model 1891 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter

Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms Co
Model: 1891
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 22 RF
Barrel: 24 inch part octagon
Finish: blue/gold
Stock: highly figured checkered
Item Views: 1064
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 47
Class: Antique

Manufactured in 1892. The factory engraved receiver is decorated with fine scrollwork and scroll borders. Each side of the receiver is engraved with a game scene depicting a stag in a circular panel. Additional scrollwork appears on the barrel at the breech and buttplate tang. At the time this rifle was manufactured, Conrad Ulrich was the engraver for Marlin. The top of the barrel is matted and is stamped with the two-line address/patent dates legend. Marlin barrels were special ordered with a matted top to reduce glare. For the Model 1891, the part octagon/part round barrel was another special order feature. The rifle is fitted with a dovetail beaded blade front sight, a notch rear sight and a folding tang peep sight. The top of the receiver is marked "MARLIN SAFETY" surrounded by scrollwork. The serial number is located on the underside of the receiver. The barrel and magazine tube are blued. The receiver, hammer, lever and buttplate are plated in gold. The finish on the receiver and buttplate is gold over nickel. The highly figured walnut forearm and pistol grip stock feature multi-point checkering. The buttstock is fitted with a crescent buttplate. The accompanying factory letter confirms the 24 inch half octagon barrel in .22 caliber and pistol grip stock as well as stating the rifle was shipped April 13, 1892. Although the high end finishes are not confirmed by the factory letter, the engraving 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."

Rating Definition:

Very fine. The barrel and magazine tube retain 60% original blue finish with thinning to brown on the balance along with some light spotting. The trigger, hammer, and lever retain 30% original gold plating. The receiver and buttplate retain 85% of the untouched original nickel plating with slight traces of original gold in the protected areas. The engraving is crisp. The wood is also fine with minor dings and scratches, some wear in the forearm checkering and a few blemishes in the overall crisp stock grip checkering. Mechanically excellent.

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