Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3191: L.D. Nimschke Engraved Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 Revolver

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

Spectacular L.D. Nimschke Engraved and Silver Band Inlaid Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 Old Army Revolver with Presentation Case

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $25,000 - $37,500

Spectacular L.D. Nimschke Engraved and Silver Band Inlaid Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 Old Army Revolver with Presentation Case

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: 2 Army
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 32 RF
Barrel: 6 inch solid rib
Finish: blue
Grip: pearl
Item Views: 666
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 143
Class: Antique

This exquisite, exhibition quality engraved S&W Model No. 2 Revolver is a masterpiece by renowned 19th century master engraver L.D. Nimschke. Near full coverage bold floral scrollwork and blossoms on a punch dot background consistent with Nimschke’s work decorate the barrel, cylinder and frame. Double silver inlaid bands are featured on the barrel at the muzzle and breech. Checkerboard patterns are incorporated amongst the scrollwork on the cylinder. Additional engraving appears on the back strap, barrel rib, and butt. Similar scrollwork and barrel rib “X” motifs are captured in a collection of Nimschke’s smoke pulls gathered by R.L. Wilson in “L.D. Nimschke Firearms Engraver” (see pages 18 and 27). “EA” is marked on the underside of the barrel at the muzzle. The barrel rib has the standard one-line Springfield address. The revolver wears a set of highly attractive pearl grips. Matching assembly marks appear on the grip frame, cylinder, and barrel. The period partitioned case is lined in red velvet and contains an empty box of Ethan Allen No. 32 cartridges. The presentation plaque on the exterior of the lid is inscribed “R.D.S. HOPKINS/NEW BRITAIN/CONN.” At the time of this writing R.D.S. Hopkins remains unidentified; however, in the September 26, 1913 edition of the Hartford Daily Courant, New Britain resident R.D.S. Hopkins was reported to be preparing for a boat race against another local boat captain Charles Johnson. The newspaper noted, “Last Sunday there was a little tilt between them and Johnson won out, which resulted in the challenge for this race.” Provenance: The Mac McCroskie Collection

Rating Definition:

Exceptionally fine as a L.D. Nimschke masterpiece, retaining 85% plus original blue finish with thinning to brown on the balance and an abrasive spot visible on the lower left barrel flat. The engraving is crisp. The grips are very fine with a few stress lines at the screw and a surface chip towards the bottom (right panel), otherwise attractive fiery colors. Mechanically excellent. The case is fine with much of the veneer remaining, minor handling/storage marks and typical high spot wear on the lining. A solid representative example of L.D. Nimschke artistry worthy of any S&W or antique firearms collection.

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