Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3112: Factory Engraved Civil War Era Colt Model 1851 navy Revolver

Auction Date: May 15, 2022

Factory Engraved Civil War Era Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $9,000 - $12,000

Factory Engraved Civil War Era Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1851 Navy
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened/silver
Grip: antique ivory
Item Views: 547
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 77
Class: Antique

Manufactured in 1863, this is a solid representative example of a factory engraved Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver done very much in the style of Gustave Young. The upper and side barrel flats, barrel lug, frame, rear sides of the loading lever, back strap, butt, and trigger guard bow are engraved with the late percussion vine style engraving pattern. This style is discussed in the book "The Book of Colt Engraving" by R.L. Wilson and there is a photograph of a Model 1860 Army revolver on page 147 with similar engraving as on this revolver. There are floral blossoms among the scrollwork, and the sides of the hammer have a wolf’s head motif and the same vine style as on the rest of the revolver. There is a shell design on the top of the back strap. The top barrel flat is marked "-ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT NEW-YORK U.S. AMERICA-". The left side of the frame is stamped “COLTS/PATENT.” The cylinder is roll engraved with the Texas/Mexico naval battle scene and marked "COLTS PATENT No 9829". The complete matching serial number is marked on the bottom of the barrel lug, frame, trigger guard and back strap, the partial serial number “9829” is marked on the cylinder, arbor pin and barrel wedge, and the partial serial number “829” is marked on the loading lever. The letters “I.E.” are stamped above the serial number on the barrel lug and below the number on the frame, trigger guard and back strap. This marking was used by the factory on revolvers designated for factory engraving, and many of the engraved revolvers from the 1860s would have been presented to military officers or government officials. Standard brass cone front and hammer notch rear sights, the barrel and cylinder were blue, silver plated brass trigger guard and back strap, and casehardened remaining parts.

Rating Definition:

Very good. The revolver has a smooth brown-gray patina with light pitting overall, traces of the cylinder scene remaining and overall crisp engraving. The brass grip straps have an attractive appearance. The attractively aged grip is fine with a chip along the back edge near the butt (left side), typical age lines on the butt, minor handling marks, and attractive mellow appearance. Mechanically fine.

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