Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 23: J. Ulrich Engraved Winchester Deluxe Model 1894 Rifle

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Well Documented and Magnificent Special Order Factory Gold Inlaid and Plated Presentation Winchester Model 1894 Carved and Deluxe Takedown Lever Action Rifle Signed by Master Factory Engraver John Ulrich with Texas History

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $140,000 - $225,000

Well Documented and Magnificent Special Order Factory Gold Inlaid and Plated Presentation Winchester Model 1894 Carved and Deluxe Takedown Lever Action Rifle Signed by Master Factory Engraver John Ulrich with Texas History

Manufacturer: Winchester
Model: 1894-Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 25-35 WCF
Barrel: 24 inch part octagon
Finish: blue/gold plated
Stock: walnut checkered
Item Views: 1975
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 43
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This rifle, 384,777 is one of the most spectacularly appointed and rarely configure Winchester Rifles we at Rock Island Auction have seen headlined by the incredibly rare factory gold inlaid barrel half octagon barrel with globe, peep and folding rear sight, takedown, shotgun butt, factory "D" carved stock with plated frame and trim (forend cap and buttplate) No. 4 factory panel scene engraving signed by John Ulrich. Rightfully so this rifle is extremely well published and described on page 274 of "WINCHESTER ENGRAVING" and on page 178 of "STEEL CANVAS" by R.L. Wilson. The rifle features Winchester factory No. 4 engraving as illustrated and described in the Winchester "HIGHLY FINISHED ARMS" catalog reproduced on page 224 of "WINCHESTER ENGRAVING." The catalog describes No. 4 engraving as: "engraved arabesque scrolls, fancy border and line work, and outline engraving." The left side of the receiver features the game scene of a hunter and two bull elk illustrated in the catalog. The right side of the receiver is engraved: "Presented to/George Rutledge/by/R.M. Dudley./January 1st/1912." in six lines. George Rutledge was a talented marksman and the president of the El Paso, Gun Club starting in 1911 and was also the superintendent of the El Paso division of the Mexico North-Western Railway, the railway robbed by Pancho Villa in 1913 and again by an affiliated group in 1916. Richard M. Dudley was an engineer, financier, mayor of El Paso (1923–1925), and two term Texas state senator. He directed the building of the railroad after previously working on New York Harbor. He moved to El Paso in 1911 from Chihuahua. The engraving covers the rear barrel flats, forearm cap, bolt, hammer, lever, screw heads and buttplate. The barrel is inlaid with a gold band just ahead of the receiver. The lower tang is engraved: "J.H. ULRICH" in tiny letters behind the trigger. The barrel, magazine, bolt and loading gate are blued. The hammer and lever are color casehardened and the forearm cap, receiver and buttplate are gold plated. The stock and forearm are highly figured fancy grade walnut with Winchester Style "D" carving and a high polish piano finish. The Winchester catalog describes Style "D" carving as: "hand carving and fancy checkering" in an "artistic oak leaf pattern". In addition to the gold plated finish, factory engraving, and relief carved stock and forearm, the rifle has numerous special order features. The 24 inch, part round/part octagon barrel has a globe front sight with circular aperture and a Lyman No. 6, two leaf, folding rear sight with bright sighting triangle on the flat top leaf. A Lyman folding combination peep sight with locking button is mounted on the receiver tang. The receiver is fitted with Winchester double-set triggers. The stock has a checkered steel shotgun buttplate. The top barrel flat is roll-stamped: "MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO./NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A. PATENTED AUGUST 21. 1894." in two lines ahead of the rear sight. The left barrel flat is roll-stamped: -NICKEL STEEL BARREL-/ESPECIALLY FOR SMOKELESS POWDER" between the rear sight and the receiver. The caliber: "25-35 W.C.F." is roll stamped on the left barrel flat in an engraved panel. The Winchester oval "W/P" proofmark is stamped on the top of the receiver. The serial number is stamped across the bottom of the receiver. "76" is stamped on the bottom of the receiver just ahead of the double set triggers. The combination of deluxe factory engraving and most importantly factory gold inlay, signed by John Ulrich, rare gold plated finish, relief carved stock and forearm along with numerous special order features and a rarely encountered dated presentation with Texas history make this rifle one of the finest Model 1894 Winchesters extant. Provenance: The Mac McCroskie Collection; Property of a Gentleman.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The rifle retains 90% plus of the original blue, casehardened and gold plated finishes. The barrel and magazine have most of the blue finish intact with only traces of wear. Handling marks are limited to several shallow dents on the left barrel flat behind the rear sight. Almost all of the blue finish is present on the engraved bolt and the loading gate. The hammer and lever have virtually all of the vivid case colors intact. The receiver and takedown collar retain 90% of the delicate gold plated finish with some light handling wear on the front portions of the receiver and takedown collar and the edges of the upper receiver. The gold plated finish is thin on the sides of the forearm cap and shows wear on the heel and toe of the buttplate. The flawlessly executed game scene, scroll and border work and presentation inscription are crisp. The highly figured, fancy grain, walnut stock and forearm retain 95% of the high polish piano finish and are in excellent condition with minimal storage and handling wear. The bottom and upper edges of the forearm have a few very minor handling marks. The stock has several very minor scratches in the finish near the butt but remains in excellent plus condition. The fancy checkering and relief carving on the stock and forearm are sharp and show minimal wear. This rifle is a magnificent example of the best quality finish, engraving and extensive special order features offered by Winchester in the early 20th Century. It is the ultimate example of a Winchester Model Deluxe 1894 Lever Action Rifle.

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