Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1018: New Haven Arms Co. Volcanic Lever Action No. 1 Pocket Pistol

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Desirable Engraved and Silver Plated New Haven Arms Co. Volcanic Lever Action No. 1 Pocket Pistol with Case

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $13,000 - $18,000

Desirable Engraved and Silver Plated New Haven Arms Co. Volcanic Lever Action No. 1 Pocket Pistol with Case

Manufacturer: New Haven Arms Co.
Model: Volcanic
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 31
Barrel: 3 3/4 inch octagon
Finish: blue/silver
Grip: highly figured walnut
Item Views: 392
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 27
Class: Antique

The Volcanic lever action firearms are historically significant and represent an important step in the development of American repeating firearms and self-contained cartridges. The lever action and integral spring-loaded magazine of these pistols and carbines served as the basic design for the Henry rifle, and Oliver Winchester's investment in the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company eventually led to the establishment of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the Model 1866, 1873 and 1876 rifles. The Volcanic repeaters were mainly hampered by their underpowered and often problematic ammunition. After these New Haven pistols, lever action designs focused on rifles and carbines. This is one of only an estimated 850 "No. 1 4 inch Pocket pistols" manufactured by the New Haven Arms Co. of New Haven, Connecticut, in 1857-1862 and features the classic scroll and border engraving typical of the New Haven Pocket pistols. For example, see the two engraved No. 1 Pocket pistols on page 73 of "Volcanic Firearms: Predecessor to the Winchester Rifle." The pistol has the distinctive octagon barrel with integral six-shot magazine, round finger hole in the lever and flat bottom grips. The pistol is fitted with a pinched blade front sight on the barrel and a notch rear sight at the rear of the frame. The top barrel flat is marked "NEW HAVEN CONN./PATENT FEB. 14. 1854." Both grip panels are numbered to the gun. Includes a modern wood display case.

Rating Definition:

Very fine with 65% plus original blue and 75% original silver plated finish, patches of brown patina on the flaked areas of the barrel and magazine tube, attractive aged patinas on the silver and exposed brass, general minor overall wear, and crisp engraving and markings. The grips are also very fine and have strong original finish, some nice figure, minor dings and scratches, and light edge wear. Mechanically fine. The relined case is fine with minor storage wear. These New Haven Arms Co. No. 1 Pocket pistols are hard to come by, especially in this high of condition, and are a necessary component of any advanced lever action firearms collection.

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