This deluxe, factory engraved, silver-plated, Henry lever action rifle was manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company/Henry Repeating Rifle Company c. 1866. The rifle features the late pattern Henry factory engraving with large Germanic scrolls on a punch-dot background on the front receiver panels, sideplates, top and rear of the receiver and buttplate heel. The left sideplate is engraved with a detailed hound on point. The receiver scrollwork is outlined with scallop and line borders. Henry serial number 12173 ( page 26, THE BOOK OF WINCHESTER ENGRAVING, by R.L. Wilson) has nearly has nearly identical engraving with the exception of a deer rather than a hound on the left sideplate. In addition to the factory engraving on the receiver and buttplate, this rifle has a silver-plated receiver and buttplate with nicely figured, select walnut, piano-finished, stock. The rifle has late production Henry features that include: square-back, nickel-silver, front sight blade, large, second pattern New Haven Arms Company address, low comb stock with second pattern brass buttplate with sharp heel, sling swivel on the left side of the stock and screw-fastened loop for sling hook on the left side of the barrel. The barrel has the late pattern, large diameter, brass magazine follower and the receiver has beveled cuts for the follower. The barrel has the final style folding leaf rear sight with stop screw below the 900 yard center notch and elevation bar with rounded ends and small "V" notch. The buttplate has the later style cap head screws and small diameter butt trap. The butt trap contains the four-piece, jointed steel cleaning rod provided with later production Henry rifles. The serial number 12175, is visible on the top barrel flat between the rear sight and receiver, lower left side of the barrel tang and in the upper stock tang inlet. The buttplate could not be removed to check the serial number. The late style buttplate and tang screws are, correctly, not serial numbered. The lower receiver tang is stamped with the "H" final inspection mark of B. Tyler Henry. The upper left side of the receiver tang is stamped with the letters "I F" which may indicate factory engraving and nickel-plated finish. What appears to be an assembly number - "20" is stamped on the lower left side of the receiver tang ahead of the serial number.
Very good. The blue finish on the barrel and integral 15-shot magazine has aged to an even plum brown patina. The sides of the barrel show traces of age texturing and are slightly rounded from handling. The two-line New Haven Arms Company address is light but fully legible. The brass receiver is very good with tight sideplate joints and sharp engraving with light-moderate handling wear. A significant amount of the delicate silver-plated finish is present on the top of the receiver surrounding the hammer and on the lower receiver around the trigger. The balance of the brass receiver and trigger guard have a very attractive aged patina. The loading lever and trigger have a mottled brown patina with a few scattered age spots. Traces of the muted case colors are present on the hammer. The refinished select walnut stock is good with a re-glued section visible on the lower right wrist, minor scattered handling marks on the balance. This is a good example of a rare, deluxe, silver-plated, factory engraved, Henry lever action rifle manufactured in 1866.
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