Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 146: Engraved Colt Open Top Pocket Revolver

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Well-Published Factory Engraved Colt Open Top Pocket Revolver with Rare Factory Box, Factory Letter, and Book

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,500 - $11,000

Well-Published Factory Engraved Colt Open Top Pocket Revolver with Rare Factory Box, Factory Letter, and Book

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Open Top
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 22 S & L
Barrel: 2 1/2 inch round
Finish: nickel
Grip: antique ivory
Item Views: 482
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 178
Class: Antique

This revolver was manufactured in 1876, but the included factory letter indicates it was not shipped until October 3, 1888, when it was part of a 103 gun shipment shipped to Hartley & Graham with factory engraving and nickel finish. The revolver and its scarce factory pasteboard box are pictured and discussed on pages 276-277 of the included copy of "A Life's Tapestry of a Collector: The Gamble Collection" by George F. Gamble and R.L. Wilson where the authors discuss Colt heavily discounting these revolvers as the market was flooded with poor quality competitors in the 1870s. It is also featured in Wilson's earlier books "Colt Engraving" on page 271 in the chapter "Cuno A. Helfricht and His Shop" and "The Book of Colt Engraving Volume II" on page xlii. The revolver has the standard markings, scroll engraving on the frame and cylinder, and a stamp, line, and dot motif on the barrel which is renumbered to match and appears to have originally been numbered "79805." The red box says "COLT'S/SEVEN SHOT PISTOL/.22 Calibre./For Long or Short Cartridges" on top and contains a combination screwdriver and cleaning rod. Provenance: The Fred Sweeney Collection; The George F. Gamble Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 95% plus original nickel plating, distinct engraving, strong original niter blue on the screws, and mild handling marks. The grips are also very fine and have attractive natural aged tones and grain and some very slight age cracks on the right. The barrel and cylinder have some play, but the revolver is mechanically fine. The box is good with a complete label, moderate age and storage related wear, and some separation and taped repairs around the sides.

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