Lot #135
Lot #137

Lot 136: Wilbur A. Glahn Engraved Silver Plated Colt Single Action Army

Outstanding, Incredibly Rare and FRESH Wilbur A. Glahn Factory Master Engraved and Silver Plated First Generation Colt Single Action Army Revolver in Very Scarce .357 Magnum with Relief Carved Steerhead Grip, Factory Letter, and Book.

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Lot 136: Wilbur A. Glahn Engraved Silver Plated Colt Single Action Army

Outstanding, Incredibly Rare and FRESH Wilbur A. Glahn Factory Master Engraved and Silver Plated First Generation Colt Single Action Army Revolver in Very Scarce .357 Magnum with Relief Carved Steerhead Grip, Factory Letter, and Book.

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Estimated Price: $50,000 - $75,000
Price Realized:

Outstanding, Incredibly Rare and FRESH Wilbur A. Glahn Factory Master Engraved and Silver Plated First Generation Colt Single Action Army Revolver in Very Scarce .357 Magnum with Relief Carved Steerhead Grip, Factory Letter, and Book.

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Single Action Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 357 magnum
Barrel: 5 1/2 inch round
Finish: silver
Grip: antique ivory
Stock:
Item Views: 1448
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 161
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun
Description:

Using the most liberal statistics, only 2,500 First Generation Colt Single Action Army revolvers of the 357,859 manufactured were factory engraved. The engraving on this incredibly rare revolver was executed by Master Engraver Wilbur Glahn, and the floral scroll engraving is consistent with other revolvers cut by his hands. He executed the majority of Colt's factory engraving between 1919 and 1950, but only a select number of SAAs were engraved by Glahn since many were engraved before he even arrived in Hartford. Further adding to the rarity of this revolver is the fact that only a very small number of pre-World War II SAAs are in .357 Magnum. This revolver is one of only approximately 525 First Generation Single Action Army revolvers chambered at the factory in .357 Magnum between that cartridge's introduction by Smith & Wesson in 1935 and Colt ending Single Action Army production in 1940 due to World War II. The fact that this revolver falls within the 357000 serial number range is interesting both because this revolver is in .357 Magnum and because the final pre-war revolver, sn. 357859, is only 303 digits away. Though many of the late Single Action Army revolvers were held and not shipped until after WWII, this revolver appears to have shipped in 1941 before the U.S. entry in the war. The included factory letter states that the production book indicates this revolver was manufactured on December 9, 1940, and sent to the Shipping Room on March 7, 1941, and was recorded as engraved and in .357 Magnum. The revolver is featured and discussed in the included copy of "A Life's Tapestry of a Collector: The Gamble Collection" by George F. Gamble and R.L. Wilson on page 257 where the authors note this revolver is "one of the most profusely embellished revolvers executed in Glahn's career at Colt's." The engraving consists of extensive floral and scroll engraving with punched backgrounds covering over 75% of the visible surfaces. The revolver is similar to the "Single Action Army Revolver with Grade 'C' Engraving and Carved Ivory Stocks" in Colt's "Colt Revolvers and Automatic Pistols De Luxe" advertisement in their 1932 catalog (see page 384 of "Colt Engraving" by R.L, Wilson), but, like most of Glahn's engraved revolvers, the patterns are not a standardized pattern repeated on many other revolvers. Instead, it is a unique work of art with similar but more extensive engraving than the advertised example. Even the sides of the front sight blade and edge of the ejector rod head are engraved. For comparison, see 357554, just two digits after this one, shown on page 402 of "Colt Engraving" by Wilson. That revolver has a fair amount of similarities with this one, but does not appear to have engraving on the front sight blade for example and has pearl grips. 357593 shown on the same page includes engraving on the front sight and ejector rod button but features similar but somewhat different floral and scroll patterns. The barrel of the current revolver has the one-line address on top and "COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY .357" on the left. The frame has the two-line patent marking and Rampant Colt trademark in an engraved panel on the left. The trigger guard has a "4" over the triangular "VP" proof on the left. Matching serial numbers are marked on the frame, cylinder ("56"), and right side of the grip straps, and the matching assembly number "287" is on the loading gate and rear of the frame on the right. The revolver features a rare full silver plated finish and is fitted with a very attractive pair of two-piece grips carved with a longhorn steer head on the right and fitted with inset silver Rampant Colt medallions. Provenance: The George F. Gamble Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent with crisp engraving and markings, 95% plus original silver plating displaying attractive aged patina, faint drag lines on the cylinder, and minimal light handling and storage type marks. The grips are extremely fine and have crisp steerhead carving, attractive natural grain, lightly aged cream tones, small chips at the toe and upper corner on the left panel, and a few thin age hairline stress cracks. Mechanically excellent. This is an absolutely incredible Wilbur A. Glahn masterpiece and one of the rarest and finest engraved First Generation Colt Single Action Army revolvers extant.



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